Saturday, November 11, 2006

Links of Interest

I like sites that offer links to a lot of other sites connected to a common theme or movement. Mindfully has a couple dozen links that connect to various environmental and social issues (and articles) that range from global warming, water resources, sustainability, to globalization. | The Revealer has an article (with links) to a movement known as "New Atheism" and its "own set of absurdities." The main article it cites is in Wired Magazine, and it does contain offensive stuff for believers of God. What turned my head toward it is our blind spot to atheism as a growing phenomenon, and the intelligence of Thomas Cleary in using the words "atheism" and "atheist" in translating the word kufr or kâfirîn in his translation The Qur'an: a New Translation published by Starlatch. He also uses "scoffers" for kâfirîn, which is a very good choice too, since "scoffer" or "scoffing" implies an active rejection (something that kufr strongly suggests) and not simply an inherited or passively approved of religious disposition.

Someday soon, I would like to commence a series of reviews of the major translations of the Quran, old and new, including Muhammad Asad's hyper-rationalist, hyper-interpolated translation, as well as some of the bland oatmeal attempts of late.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"own sent of absurdities" - should be "set" I think.

In any case, I eagerly await your review of the various translations of the Quran.

Have you by any chance ever come across a translation of the Quran edited by TJ Winters? I remember coming upon what I felt was an excellent translation (by Professor Winters) a few years ago, but I have been unable to find that edition online. It was published in Turkey if I remember correctly...

11/11/2006 11:06 PM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Thanks for the correction. It is "set". As for translation, I think you're refering to the translation called simply "The Holy Qur'an: with English Translation" translated by three Turkish professors. It's around. I have a copy.

11/12/2006 12:08 AM  
Blogger The_Traveller said...

"...atheism as a growing phenomenon."

I always thought it was dominant world view here in the west, not a 'growing phenomenom.' I'm born and raised in England and the majority of people (aside from the Muslim community)I've encountered in my life have been athiests. It's certainly the dominant world view (if you consider secularism to be athiesm) vis a vis the media here.

11/13/2006 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Irving said...

Thanks for the links, and a review of he vaious Qu'ran translations is a great idea.

Ya Haqq!

11/13/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Abuljude said...

"Someday soon, I would like to commence a series of reviews of the major translations of the Quran, old and new, including Muhammad Asad's hyper-rationalist, hyper-interpolated translation, as well as some of the bland oatmeal attempts of late."

I'll take hyper-rationalism over oatmeal any day. I certainly won't name any children for oatmeal...

11/13/2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger fromclay said...

People are sensitive about their choice of translation, as they used to be about their choice of rock star. They take it so personally. But there are issues in translation of the Quran that are sometimes invisible (as in attitude and philosophical perspective) that prohibit a reader unversed with the original to get a feel for the original meaning, however imperfect translations are in bequeathing that at a baseline level. So oatmeal or hash, it's good to know what we're reading and giving others to read. Well, AJ, hope you're doing well, the afareet too.

11/14/2006 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Maliha said...

hmm..I am interested in the review...I am really attached to Yusuf Ali (the newest one/w/ commentary); and sans some of his patriarchal tendencies, its pretty good.

I was thinking of ordering Muhammad Asad and using the differences to generate more thoughts/reflections on the ayahs. (I am in a sort of rut/comfort zone with the Quran).

Tell me more about the Thomas cleary version. How is it different, all the good stuff.

Also, I am emailing you a question I have been meaning to ask. I hope you don't mind.

11/14/2006 9:55 AM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Maliha, I'll answer you through the email. Thanks for dropping by.

11/14/2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger thabet said...

All translation appears to be a form of interpretation, so I suppose "hyper-interpolation" is unavoidable to some degree.


11/15/2006 5:49 AM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Hyper-interpolation is never good, with an emphasis on "hyper." To render or impose a certain point of view requires long bracketed breaks from the main narrative. If one is disposed or internally pressured to show these views in the interpretation, then let them be in the notes, which Asad does, but somewhat selectively, often pulling out opinions from classical commentators that the commentators themselves say are "weak," though that opinion is left out of the notes. The text should stay relatively clean, as much as possible of course. [I think.] I have no problem with variety of interpretations, but let's know of them.

11/15/2006 7:46 AM  

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