NBN AUDIO Interview: The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions

Below is an introduction to an interview Matthew Long conducted with me for “New Books in Islamic Studies” (New Books Network). Please follow this LINK to hear the full audio interview.


The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions


by MATTHEW LONG on JULY 17, 2015

Emran El-Badawi View on Amazon The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions (Routledge, 2013) written by Emran El-Badawi, professor and director of the Arab Studies program at the University of Houston, is a recent addition to the field of research on the Qur’an and Aramaic and Syriac biblical texts. Professor El-Badawi asserts that the Qur’an is a product of an environment steeped in the Aramaic gospel traditions. Not a “borrowing” from the Aramaic gospel tradition, but rather the Qur’an contains a “dogmatic re-articulation” of elements from that tradition for an Arab audience. He introduces and examines this context in the second chapter, and then proceeds to compare passages of the Qur’an and passages of the Aramaic gospel in the subsequent four chapters. These comparisons are organized according to four primary themes: prophets, clergy, the divine, and the apocalypse. Each chapter contains numerous images constituting the larger theme at work. For example in the chapter “Divine Judgment and the Apocalypse,” images of paradise and hell taken from gospel traditions are compared to the Qur’anic casting of these images. Moreover, Professor El-Badawi includes three indices following his concluding chapter that provide a great deal of raw data and textual parallels between the Qur’an and the wide range of sources he has employed. The value of his work is evidenced by the fact it was nominated for the 2014 British-Kuwait Friendship Society’s Book Prize in Middle Eastern Studies.

Click HERE to hear the interview.

2 thoughts on “NBN AUDIO Interview: The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions

  1. Dr El Badawi,

    I enjoyed listening to the interview in your latest post, it was very informative and left me eager to read your book, hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on it soon. Are you planning on publishing it in Arabic at all? I urge you to consider it, from what I heard on the interview I believe it would make an important (and refreshing!) contribution to the existing literature.

    At the end of the interview you mentioned that you were working on a number of projects and I wished you would have given more information. Please share any details about the event you mentioned you were working on with Rice university, as well as the textbook you’re writing.

    Thank you so much for your efforts!

    1. Dear Zayd,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. You can stay up to date by visiting my faculty page (http://www.uh.edu/class/mcl/faculty/el-badawi_e/) and following me on academia.edu . My two major projects are on Qur’an, early Islamic tradition and church canon…as well as a completely different project on Arab liberalism. Stay tuned for details on the Rice University conference. Best wishes and warm regards.


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