The problem of the relevance of time and space to the Qurʾānic text

Authors

  • Burhanettin Tatar Ondokuz Mayıs University

Keywords:

Time and space, relevance, Qurʾānic text, Islamic theology, Islamic philosophy, Islamic Sufism, logoi, kairos

Abstract

https://doi.org/10.12730/13091719.2011.21.25 In the classical ages of Islamic thought, the problem of the relevance of time and space to the Qurʾānic text was generally understood in terms of cosmology and ontology, which assumed a division between matter and intellect (soul), earth and heaven, the symbolic and the rational, and the signifier (expression) and the signified (concept). Most classical Muslim thinkers took time and space at the level of the signifier to be a kind of prison to be escaped and at the level of the signified as a moment and place of the self-presence of metaphysical truth. In our global age, constant changes in the semantics/creations of new times and spaces force us to view the problem of the relevance of time and space to the Qurʾānic text from a different perspective. This paper attempts to first analyze the classical formulations of the above problem, and then to briefly delineate a way of poetical thinking that tries to grasp time and space as a form of revelation of new opportunities (kairos) and potentialities, which interpreters can discover in front of the text as a realm of signifiers.

References

Açıkgenç, Alparslan, "İslam'da Bilgi Nazariyesi [Epistemology in Islam]," in Bünyamin Erul (ed.), İslam'a Giriş - Ana Konulara Yeni Yaklaşımlar - [Introduction to Islam - New Approaches to Fundamental Issues -] (4th ed., Ankara: Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı Yayınları, 2008), 11-30.

Corbin, Henri, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (trans. from French by Willard R. Trask; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990).

Izutsu, Toshihiko, Creation and Timeless Order of Things: Essays in Islamic Mystical Philosophy (Ashland: White Cloud, 1994).

Mohamed, Yasien, "The Definition of Fitrah" at http://www. angel-fire.com/al/islamicpsychology/fitrah/fitrah.html (accessed 10.03.2011).

Moosa, Ebrahim, Ghazālī and the Poetics of Imagination (Chapel Hill & London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

Smith, P. Christopher, Hermeneutics and Human Finitude (New York: Fordham University Press, 1991).

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Published

2011-11-16

How to Cite

Tatar, B. (2011). The problem of the relevance of time and space to the Qurʾānic text. Ilahiyat Studies, 2(1), 9–18. Retrieved from https://ilahiyatstudies.org/index.php/journal/article/view/57

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Section

Articles