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Week of January 14, 2013

Don't miss: Understanding the Qur’an

Qur’an scholar Carl Ernst of the University of North Carolina offers a non-theological way to read the Qur’an from a literary and historical perspective in the lecture “How to Read the Qur’an.”

It is presented at 4 p.m. Jan. 22 at the International Institute in the School of Social Work Building, Room 1636. The talk is part of the lecture series, “The Qur’an and the World.”

Ernst is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. The main characteristics of his approach open with a chronological reading of the Qur’an’s text in the order of its original delivery, rather than the current canonical order.

Other key characteristics involve close attention to inter-textual connections to earlier religious writings, and exploration of ring structure or symmetrical composition as a way of locating central passages. These techniques seek to offer readers new ways to understand a text that some say can be baffling and forbidding.

The lecture series is sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Institute for the Humanities, International Institute, LSA, and the Center for South Asian Studies.

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