Modern Qur’anic Hermeneutics



With an eye towards developments that either depart from or re-envision Islam's classical exegetical methodologies, this article furnishes a schematic overview of major trends and trajectories in Qur’anic hermeneutics situated across a range of modern Muslim discursivities, paying particular attention to six hermeneutical models that have, some more than others, garnered attention from the mid-19th century to the present: modernist, Islamist, scientist, translationalist, revisionist, and feminist. As distinct from modern exegetical practice carried out in an established classical idiom, all of these models have engendered debate, controversy, or contestation to one degree or another, being as reflective of the complexity of Muslim engagements with modernity as of the polyvalence of interpretations of the text itself.