The Koran: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780192853448

Michael Cook
176 Pages
113 x 179 mm
Pub date
Feb 2000
Very Short Introductions


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  • Islam is frequently in the news; this Very Short Introduction discusses how interpretations of the Koran affect current events
  • Joins a cluster of established religion titles in series (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Theology)

The Koran has constituted a remarkably strong core of identity and continuity for a religious tradition that is now in its fifteenth century. This Very Short Introduction explores the significance of the Koran both in the modern world and in traditional Muslim culture. Michael Cook provides a lucid and direct account of the Koran as codex, as scripture, as liturgy, and as the embodiment of truth, and examines its means of formation and dissemination. He also discusses issues of interpretation for certain key verses, demonstrating that fecundity of the text for readers throughout the world. 


List of Illustrations
Map of places mentioned in the text

Part One: Introduction
 1. Preliminaries
 2. The message of the Koran
Part Two: The Koran in the modern world
 3. The dissemination of the Koran
 4. The interpretation of the Koran
 5. The very idea of scripture
Part Three: The Koran in the tradition Muslim world
 6. The Koran as codex
 7. The Koran as text
 8. The Koran as worship
 9. The Koran as truth
10. The Koran as an object of dogma
Part Four: The formation of the Koran
11. The collection of the Koran
12. The Koran in the lifetime of the Prophet
13. Doubts and puzzles
14. Conclusion
A Note on Arabic
Going further
Index of Koranic verses


About the author: 

Michael Cook is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Princeton. His publications include the Past Master on Muhammad.

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