Cara's Reviews > "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
"Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
Oct 30, 2013
This is in fact a reread for me, but I understood so little of it the first time around that I'm glad I read it again (and could probably do with another reread, to be honest). Even the second time around, it's a difficult book: extremely academic and accessible only with a great deal of difficulty for those who aren't well schooled in feminist theory and textual interpretation (even now, I'm note entirely sure I can explain what "hermeneutics" is). The author uses the Qur'an itself to argue against its interpretation as a patriarchal text, as has been the common interpretation since shortly after the Prophet's death. She does this rather successfully, and I was left wanting to read all the works she cited, which is a good way to end any book. She brings up some very good points about the need to separate an interpretation of a text from the text itself - the Qur'an is unchanging, but our interpretations of it are not and don't necessarily need to be. My only complaint is that it seems too short - you can't really "unread" the entire Qur'an in only 200 pages. There's obviously a lot more work to be done by other scholars - I'm currently reading Laleh Bakhtiar's translation of the Qur'an, so that should be a start at least.
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