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 of Religion in Africa – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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