By David Hollenberg

Ismailism, one of many 3 significant branches of Shiism, is better identified for taʾwῑl, an esoteric, allegorizing scriptural exegesis. past the Qurʾān: Early Ismaili taʾwῑl and the secrets and techniques of the Prophets is the 1st book-length research of this interpretive style. reading assets composed through tenth-century Ismaili missionaries in gentle of social-science theories of cognition and sectarianism, David Hollenberg argues that the missionaries used taʾwῑl to instill in acolytes a collection of symbolic styles, kinds, and “logics.” This shared symbolic international certain the neighborhood jointly because it created a gulf among neighborhood contributors and people outdoor the flow. Hollenberg therefore situates ta’wil socially, as an interpretive perform that sustained a neighborhood of believers.

An very important point of taʾwῑl is its unconventional gadgets of interpretation. Ismaili missionaries combined Qurʾānic exegesis with interpretation of Torah, Gospels, Greek philosophy, and emblems resembling the Christian pass and Eucharist, in addition to Jewish fairs. formerly students have speculated that this additional- Qurʾānic taʾwῑl was once meant to transform Jews and Christians to Ismailism. Hollenberg, departing from this view, argues that such interpretations have been, like Ismaili interpretations of the Qurʾān, meant for an Ismaili viewers, lots of whom switched over to the move from different branches of Shiism.

Hollenberg argues that via exegesis of those unconventional resources, the missionaries tested that their imam on my own may perhaps strip the exterior husk from all demeanour of assets and exhibit the initiates truth in its natural, unmediated shape, an imaginal global to which they on my own had entry. additionally they fulfilled the promise that their imam could educate them the secrets and techniques in the back of all religions, an indication that the preliminary degree of the tip of days had commenced.

Beyond the Qurʾān contributes to our realizing of early Ismaili doctrine, Fatimid rhetoric, and, extra generally, using esoteric literatures within the heritage of religion.

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Beyond the Qurʾān: Early Ismāʿῑlῑ Taʾwῑl and the Secrets of the Prophets by David Hollenberg


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