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Wilson B. Translating the Qur'an in an Age of Nationalism. Print Culture and Modern Islam in Turkey. Oxford University Press in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, 2014.


Over the course of the past two centuries, the central text of Islam has undergone twin revolutions. Around the globe, Muslim communities have embraced the printing and translating of the Qur’an, transforming the scribal text into a modern book that can be read in virtually any language.

What began with the sparse and often contentious publication of vernacular commentaries and translations in the Ottoman Empire and South Asia evolved, by the late twentieth century, into widespread Quranic translation and publishing efforts in all quarters of the Muslim world, including Arabic-speaking countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This is remarkable given that at the dawn of the twentieth century many Muslims considered Qur’an translations to be impossible, impermissible and even impious. Nevertheless, printed and translated versions of the Qur’an have gained widespread acceptance by Muslim communities, and now play a central, and in some quarters, a leading role in how the Qur’an is read and understood in the modern world.

Focusing on the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, and following the debates to Russia, Egypt, Indonesia and India, this book addresses the question of how this revolution in Quranic book culture occurred, considering both intellectual history as well the processes by which the Qur’an became a modern book that could be mechanically reproduced and widely owned.

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Annotation, Contents, List of Illustrations, Acknowledgements

Keywords


Qur’an

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