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The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran 1st Edition
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The topic that brought this book to the attention of the news media, that it is white raisins rather than willing virgins that the devout Muslim will encounter in Paradise, is given ample space. Indeed, pages 247-283 are devoted to this topic. The author regards his efforts as helping "the Koran to achieve its original inner coherence" (p.264) so that the notion of Paradise depicted by Ephraem the Syrian is restored to its proper place. The chapter "Virgins in Paradise" is followed by the chapter "The Boys of Paradise" (pp.284-291). Although the author does not suggest that any interpretation of the role of "boys" in such a place might be salacious, devout Muslims might take comfort in the author indicating that the Arabic word "walid" (i.e.Read more ›
An excellent companion book, by the way, is Jenkins' The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died, which came as a complete surprise to me --- the fact that Christianity flourished in the EAST for a thousand years: in Syria, Iraq, Iran, India, China, and Japan. For that thousand years (longer than Protestantism) the church language was Syriac (which could be called "Christian Aramaic.) Syriac, Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew are all linguistic kissing cousins from the family of Semitic languages, so it would hardly be a difficult job to "borrow" some Syriac hymns or other items from the Syriac lectionary, and put them into Arabic to make a new holy book. A problem which arose was incomplete understanding of the Syriac, or a clumsy rendition into Arabic, which resulted in what was really an absurd idea --- that the Muslim Paradise was to be given over to orgies with 72 eternally young virgins. It turns out that those "virgins" (never actually mentioned in the Koran) are wrenched out of a terribly opaque Arabic phrase, apparently meaning "white eyes" but actually referring to "crystal-clear white grapes." A similar fate awaits the "eternally young boys," who turn out to be "chilled grapes as lovely as pearls.Read more ›
Given the highly controversial ideas expressed by Luxenberg, a credible review can perhaps only be offered by scholars equally skilled in Aramaic and Arabic.
Fellow dilettantes may get a more complete and contextualized introduction to the broader thesis in play, from a more recent publication, 'Hidden Orgins of Islam." This is a collection of 10 essays, including one by Luxenberg, all bearing on different facets of the same broad revisionism directed at Islamic origins that Luxenberg explores here, limited to the Quran. By all means, read both, but I think one will relish 'The Syro-Aramic Reading' more, and will appreciate what Luxenberg has acccomplished, by digging into 'Hidden Origins' right away. Also, many of the understandably sensitive and incredulous reactions against' Luxenberg's views, which came out some years ago, can be finessed by seeing how well supported his thesis is, against this broader background of historical data and corroboration.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The details and analyses provided in this text are exceptional.
You'll want to know a little Arabic and Aramaic to get the full value,
but even without that knowledge,... Read more
Tell me something: DID YOU EVEN READ THE BOOK??? Obviously not because you CUT & PASTE your entire piece directly from WIKIPEDIA!!! Good God! Read more