Guest lecture "The Emergence of the Koranic Message. Revelation and History in Early Islam" by Peter Zeillinger, December 14th, 2016

Peter Zeillinger, a long-standing collaborator at the department of Fundamental Theology (“Theologische Grundlagenforschung”) held a lecture and a subsequent workshop on December 14th, 2016, in the context of the course “Revelation and History”.

The central question was what constitutes the Koran as a text: what is that what we call “Koran” about? How is revelation presented? How and in what context could that which we call Koran today emerge? This is not about the book called Koran, but about the Koranic message as such.

In this examination it became evident (especially following Angelika Neuwirth's research) that the Koran developed in a culture that in late Antiquity used to belong to what we call our tradition. The Koranic message reacts in various ways to the church fathers, the Apocrypha, the Bible. The Koran therefore also has to be read as part of that culture which we call European today.

Besides many allusions to connections with ancient Arab poetry, in comparison to which the Koran represents a break, Peter Zeillinger puts the main focus on the central meaning of liturgy as the context of the development and of a possible understanding of the Koran (cf. Surah 93). Other important questions concern the theme of orality, writing and the performativity of the text as well as the questions linked to a theology of the signs and the meaning of history.