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- The Sectarian Milieu: Content and Composition of Islamic Salvation History
- Prometheus Books
- AIC2 JCR10
- Amazon Review/s
Summary: In this influential work originally published in 1978, the author, one of the most innovative thinkers in the field of Islamic Studies, analysed 'early Islamic historiography - or rather the interpretative myths underlying this historiography - as a late manifestation of Old Testament salvation history'. Continuing themes that he treated in a previous work, "Quranic Studies", Wansbroguh argued that the traditional biographies of Muhammad are best understood, not as historical documents that attest to 'what really happened', but as literary texts written more than 100 years after the facts and heavily influenced by Jewish, and to a lesser extent, Christian, interconfessional polemics. Thus, Islamic 'history' is almost completely a later literary reconstruction, which evolved out of an environment of competing Jewish and Christian sects. As such, the author felt that the most fruitful means of analysing such texts was literary analysis. Although Wanbrough's work remains controversial to this day, his fresh insights and approaches to the study of Islam continue to inspire scholars.
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