Thursday, February 11, 2016
The Parables of Jesus in Islamic Literature (Part 2)
The Qur’an is more concerned about "correcting" doctrinal errors about Jesus (e.g., that he died on a cross or is part of a Trinity), but the traditions in the hadith include many more teachings and miracles.
In these hadith traditions, Jesus can be seen as both an apocalyptic figure—central to the Muslim concept of the end of the world—and as a figure more closely connected to popular piety and moral discourse. In addition, Jesus in hadith literature is especially concerned about “the least of these,” and he illustrates the Muslim virtues of poverty and humility (Outcalt 2014: 109).
By the ninth century CE, sayings by Jesus in hadith traditions usually fall within five categories: (1) eschatological sayings and discussions of Jesus’s return; (2) sayings reminiscent of sayings in the Gospels; (3) ascetic sayings and stories; (4) sayings that involve intra-Muslim polemics; (5) and clarifications of the relationship between Muhammad and Jesus, including details of what Jesus looked like (e.g., a fair complexion, moderate height, and with beautiful long hair that was neither too curly or too straight; Leirvik 2010: 37–39; Khalidi 2001: 32–34).
Next up on the blog is a look at the fascinating (and quite understandable) developments in the tradition concerning the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.
One note about the book: I am spending whatever spare time I have trying to track down the remaining digital images that I want for the book and am beginning to contact copyright holders concerning the use of those images, as well as the poems, songs, film scripts, and other copyrighted items included in the book (beyond fair or public domain use).
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