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What the Qur'an Meant - And Why It Matters-logo

What the Qur'an Meant - And Why It Matters

Garry Wills

America's leading religious scholar and public intellectual introduces lay readers to the Qur'an with a measured, powerful reading of the ancient text Garry Wills has spent a lifetime thinking and writing about Christianity. In What the Qur'an Meant, Wills invites readers to join him as he embarks on a timely and necessary reconsideration of the Qur'an, leading us through perplexing passages with insight and erudition. What does the Qur'an actually say about veiling women? Does it justify religious war? There was a time when ordinary Americans did not have to know much about Islam. That is no longer the case. We blundered into the longest war in our history without knowing basic facts about the Islamic civilization with which we were dealing. We are constantly fed false information about Islam—claims that it is essentially a religion of violence, that its sacred book is a handbook for terrorists. There is no way to assess these claims unless we have at least some knowledge of the Qur'an. In this book Wills, as a non-Muslim with an open mind, reads the Qur'an with sympathy but with rigor, trying to discover why other non-Muslims—such as Pope Francis—find it an inspiring book, worthy to guide people down through the centuries. There are many traditions that add to and distort and blunt the actual words of the text. What Wills does resembles the work of art restorers who clean away accumulated layers of dust to find the original meaning. He compares the Qur'an with other sacred books, the Old Testament and the New Testament, to show many parallels between them. There are also parallel difficulties of interpretation, which call for patient exploration—and which offer some thrills of discovery. What the Qur'an Meant is the opening of a conversation on one of the world's most practiced religions.

America's leading religious scholar and public intellectual introduces lay readers to the Qur'an with a measured, powerful reading of the ancient text Garry Wills has spent a lifetime thinking and writing about Christianity. In What the Qur'an Meant, Wills invites readers to join him as he embarks on a timely and necessary reconsideration of the Qur'an, leading us through perplexing passages with insight and erudition. What does the Qur'an actually say about veiling women? Does it justify religious war? There was a time when ordinary Americans did not have to know much about Islam. That is no longer the case. We blundered into the longest war in our history without knowing basic facts about the Islamic civilization with which we were dealing. We are constantly fed false information about Islam—claims that it is essentially a religion of violence, that its sacred book is a handbook for terrorists. There is no way to assess these claims unless we have at least some knowledge of the Qur'an. In this book Wills, as a non-Muslim with an open mind, reads the Qur'an with sympathy but with rigor, trying to discover why other non-Muslims—such as Pope Francis—find it an inspiring book, worthy to guide people down through the centuries. There are many traditions that add to and distort and blunt the actual words of the text. What Wills does resembles the work of art restorers who clean away accumulated layers of dust to find the original meaning. He compares the Qur'an with other sacred books, the Old Testament and the New Testament, to show many parallels between them. There are also parallel difficulties of interpretation, which call for patient exploration—and which offer some thrills of discovery. What the Qur'an Meant is the opening of a conversation on one of the world's most practiced religions.
More Information

Description:

America's leading religious scholar and public intellectual introduces lay readers to the Qur'an with a measured, powerful reading of the ancient text Garry Wills has spent a lifetime thinking and writing about Christianity. In What the Qur'an Meant, Wills invites readers to join him as he embarks on a timely and necessary reconsideration of the Qur'an, leading us through perplexing passages with insight and erudition. What does the Qur'an actually say about veiling women? Does it justify religious war? There was a time when ordinary Americans did not have to know much about Islam. That is no longer the case. We blundered into the longest war in our history without knowing basic facts about the Islamic civilization with which we were dealing. We are constantly fed false information about Islam—claims that it is essentially a religion of violence, that its sacred book is a handbook for terrorists. There is no way to assess these claims unless we have at least some knowledge of the Qur'an. In this book Wills, as a non-Muslim with an open mind, reads the Qur'an with sympathy but with rigor, trying to discover why other non-Muslims—such as Pope Francis—find it an inspiring book, worthy to guide people down through the centuries. There are many traditions that add to and distort and blunt the actual words of the text. What Wills does resembles the work of art restorers who clean away accumulated layers of dust to find the original meaning. He compares the Qur'an with other sacred books, the Old Testament and the New Testament, to show many parallels between them. There are also parallel difficulties of interpretation, which call for patient exploration—and which offer some thrills of discovery. What the Qur'an Meant is the opening of a conversation on one of the world's most practiced religions.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Robertson Dean

Length:

6h 12m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:14


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

00:07


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

07:17


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

07:48


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

07:53


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

04:41


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

07:27


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

07:41


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

07:53


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

06:36


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

04:49


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

08:32


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

05:35


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

04:58


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

05:20


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

08:49


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

08:22


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

08:44


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

08:37


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

05:30


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

07:45


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

04:34


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

07:21


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

06:35


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

04:20


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

08:25


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

04:30


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

06:31


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

08:27


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

08:35


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

03:43


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

08:14


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

05:35


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

07:11


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

07:05


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

04:38


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

08:31


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

08:04


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

08:08


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

08:24


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

08:13


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

05:33


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

07:07


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

08:01


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

07:52


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

07:59


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

07:27


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

05:55


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

05:11


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

07:56


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

08:22


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

05:51


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

05:21


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

07:56


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

08:37


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

01:34


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

00:27