Translating the Qur'ān in Sub-Saharan Africa: Dynamics and Disputes

Translating the Qur'ān in Sub-Saharan Africa: Dynamics and Disputes TRANSLATING THE QUR hÀ N IN SUB - SAHARAN AFRICA: DYNAMICS AND DISPUTES 1 by ROMAN LOIMEIER (University of Bayreuth) ABSTRACT In the last decades, African Muslim societies have experienced multiple processes of modernization, as, for instance, in the sphere of education. As a consequence, the number of African Muslims literate in African languages has grown tremen- dously and so has the number of texts, including religious texts, published in these languages. At the same time, the Qur hà n has been translated into many African languages, and these translations of the Qur hà n have triggered disputes among reli- gious scholars on the translatability of the Qur hà n as well as the interpretative ori- entation of these translations. The disputes over the translation and interpretation of the Qur hà n into African languages might contribute to the emergence, in sub- Saharan Africa, of a tradition of scholarly debates that would stress contextualized interpretations of the text. Introduction Some years ago, Lamin Sanneh claimed that, Islam with its nontranslatable scriptures would appear to be at a considerable dis- tance from the point at which Christianity engages culture. All this implies that the strength of Islam in generating http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Africa Brill

Translating the Qur'ān in Sub-Saharan Africa: Dynamics and Disputes

Journal of Religion in Africa, Volume 35 (4): 403 – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0022-4200
eISSN
1570-0666
D.O.I.
10.1163/157006605774832180
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

TRANSLATING THE QUR hÀ N IN SUB - SAHARAN AFRICA: DYNAMICS AND DISPUTES 1 by ROMAN LOIMEIER (University of Bayreuth) ABSTRACT In the last decades, African Muslim societies have experienced multiple processes of modernization, as, for instance, in the sphere of education. As a consequence, the number of African Muslims literate in African languages has grown tremen- dously and so has the number of texts, including religious texts, published in these languages. At the same time, the Qur hà n has been translated into many African languages, and these translations of the Qur hà n have triggered disputes among reli- gious scholars on the translatability of the Qur hà n as well as the interpretative ori- entation of these translations. The disputes over the translation and interpretation of the Qur hà n into African languages might contribute to the emergence, in sub- Saharan Africa, of a tradition of scholarly debates that would stress contextualized interpretations of the text. Introduction Some years ago, Lamin Sanneh claimed that, Islam with its nontranslatable scriptures would appear to be at a considerable dis- tance from the point at which Christianity engages culture. All this implies that the strength of Islam in generating

Journal

Journal of Religion in AfricaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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