Aus unseren Neuerwerbungen – Sprachen und Kulturen Asiens, Afrikas und Ozeaniens 2024.1

The Oxford hand­book of Qur’an­ic stud­ies
BuchcoverThe Qur’an is the foun­da­tion­al sacred text of the Islam­ic faith. Tra­di­tion­al­ly revered as the lit­er­al word of God, its pro­nounce­ments and dis­cus­sions form the bedrock of Islam­ic beliefs and teach­ings. Notwith­stand­ing its reli­gious pre-emi­nence and the fact that it is the sacred text for over one bil­lion of the world’s Mus­lims, the Qur’an is also con­sid­ered to be the match­less mas­ter­piece of the Ara­bic lan­guage. Its his­tor­i­cal impact as a text can be dis­cerned in all aspects of the her­itage of the Ara­bic lit­er­ary tra­di­tion. Over recent decades, aca­d­e­m­ic engage­ment with the Qur’an has pro­duced an impres­sive array of schol­ar­ship, rang­ing from detailed stud­ies of the text’s unique lan­guage, style and struc­ture, to metic­u­lous sur­veys of its con­tents, con­cepts and his­tor­i­cal con­texts. The Oxford Hand­book of Qur’an­ic Stud­ies is an essen­tial ref­er­ence and start­ing point for those with an aca­d­e­m­ic inter­est in the Qur’an. It offers not only detailed reviews of influ­en­tial sub­jects in the field, but also a crit­i­cal overview of devel­op­ments in the research dis­course. It explores the tra­di­tion of Qur’an­ic exe­ge­sis and hermeneu­tics, mak­ing it a com­pre­hen­sive aca­d­e­m­ic resource for the study of the Qur’an. No sin­gle vol­ume devot­ed to such a broad aca­d­e­m­ic sur­vey of the state of the field cur­rent­ly exists.
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The ori­gins of Chi­nese writ­ing
BuchcoverThis study explores the evi­dence for Chi­nese writ­ing in the late Neolith­ic (3500–2000 BCE) and ear­ly Bronze Age (2000–1250 BCE) peri­ods. Chi­nese writ­ing is often said to have begun with lit­tle incu­ba­tion dur­ing the late Shang peri­od (c. 1300–1045 BCE) in the mid­dle-low­er Yel­low Riv­er Val­ley area as a sud­den inde­pen­dent inven­tion. This expla­na­tion runs counter to evi­dence from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Mesoamer­i­ca that shows that inde­pen­dent devel­op­ments of writ­ing gen­er­al­ly under­go a pro­tract­ed evo­lu­tion. It also ignores archae­o­log­i­cal data from the Chi­nese Neolith­ic and ear­ly Bronze Age that reveals the exis­tence of signs com­pa­ra­ble to Shang char­ac­ters.
Pao­la Demat­tè takes this data into account to address the issue of what writ­ing is, and when, why, and how it devel­ops, by employ­ing a the­o­ry of writ­ing that does not priv­i­lege lan­guage as a prime mover. It focus­es instead on visu­al sys­tems of com­mu­ni­ca­tion as well as ide­o­log­i­cal and socio-eco­nom­ic devel­op­ments as key ele­ments that pro­mote the even­tu­al devel­op­ment of writ­ing. To under­stand the process­es that led to pri­ma­ry devel­op­ments of writ­ing, The Ori­gins of Chi­nese Writ­ing draws from the lat­est research on the ear­ly writ­ing sys­tems of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Mesoamer­i­ca, and oth­er forms of pro­towrit­ing. The result is a nov­el and inclu­sive the­o­ret­i­cal approach to the archae­o­log­i­cal evi­dence, gram­ma­to­log­i­cal data, and tex­tu­al sources, an approach that demon­strates that Chi­nese writ­ing emerged out of a long process that began in the Late Neolith­ic and con­tin­ued dur­ing the Ear­ly Bronze Age.
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