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AUK Professor, Raymond Farrin, Releases a book on Structure and Qur'anic Interpretation


Dr. Raymond Farrin, Chair of the Department of Arabic and Foreign Languages at the American University of Kuwait (AUK), and Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Literature, released his latest book Structure and Qur'anic Interpretation: A Study of Symmetry and Coherence in Islam's Holy Text in 2014, published by White Cloud Press.

In his book, Dr. Farrin illustrates how the Qur'an, whose structure has often been regarded as unsystematic, does in fact feature a comprehensive design, one that is characterized by a network of symmetries.

Dr. Farrin's book was welcomed with acclaim from a number of scholars. Dale F. Eickelman, Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations at Dartmouth College wrote: "Structure and Qur'anic Interpretation draws on social anthropology, literary analysis, and a wide reading of predecessors and contemporaries to offer an engagingly readable account of how structure relates to content in Islam's key text. Simultaneously emphatic and critical, Farrin's new book invites readers to understand the Qur'an from a fresh perspective."

In November 2014, Dr. Farrin was interviewed by Abdur-Rahman Abou Almajd for Alukah.net, a website dedicated to intellectual and cultural exchange amongst scholars and experts. In the interview, Farrin explained that while he was conducting his research in classical Arabic literature and poetry, he was inspired to look into the fundamental text in Arabic, the Holy Qur'an. Given his interest and background, he decided to take a literary approach. He explained he was surprised to find that many Orientalists often criticize the Qur'an for lacking in structure, and provided examples of where in the Qur'an structure can be found.

"Following the work of researchers such as Michel Cuypers and Mustansir Mir, who have discovered symmetrical patterns in parts of the Qur'an, I proceeded to look for a similar structural logic in the Qur'an as a whole," Farrin explained.

Dr. Raymond Farrin studied Arabic in Cairo and received a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Abundance from the Desert: Classical Arabic Poetry (Syracuse UP, 2011). In 2014, he helped launch the Faculty Speaker Series at AUK, an initiative that offers the opportunity for members of the AUK faculty to share their scholarly activities, and discuss books that they have released.

To read the full interview by Abdur-Rahman Abou Almajd for Alukah.net, click here.
Book Description and Reviews courtesy of http://www.whitecloudpress.com/

Book Cover

Dr. Raymond Farrin, Chair of the Department of Arabic and Foreign Languages

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 14th January 2015

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2015

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