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Biographies et récits de vie

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Kmar Bendana
, 
Katia Boissevain
, 
Delphine Cavallo

Résumés : débat

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Alfred-Louis DE PREMARE. The construction of religious knowledge in the first generations of muslims

1The author presents his area of study: the basic texts of Islam, the Coran and Hadîth. He attempts to define a method of analysis suitable for them. He studies these texts in their general environment and their historical context, and widens the space and time in which one should consider their birth and development. Lastly, he considers the founding texts in the historical dynamic which gave rise to them, as witnesses of the beliefs and religious knowledge of the men who produced them.

Abdelmajid CHARFI. For an other understanding of the question of the foundation of islam

2The historical approach of the foundations of islam necessitates to examine all recent research. Thus, if westerners generally ignore muslim research, juging that it is unscientific, muslims do not take into account results from western studies of a certain type, because it carries a negative outlook on islam. The question is to put the history of islam in the general framework of the history of religions, to apply valid laws to all religious phenomena, and to take into consideration what is the originality of islam, and its specificity. It is the transition from oral to written word, and problems of interpretation and institutionnalisation of the Message, and not its ulterior collective elaboration, which should hold the historian of the Coran’s attention.

Alfred-Louis DE PRÉMARE. The question of the foundation of islam. A reply to Abdelmajid Charfi

3Abdelmajid Charfi’s critic of my work is particularly stigmatising. Ordering sources according to a hierarchy which qualifies some of them, Muslim texts, and disqualifies others, Syriac, Coptic and Greek texts, he intends to make believe that I privilege the second sources over the first and that I have imposed on the study of the Coran the principles of exegisis applied to Christian texts. As far as I am concerned, by respecting historical method, I draw upon all available sources and overwhelmingly on internal sources and Muslim interrogations. An attentive reader of the Foundations of Islam will have difficulty in recognizing my book in the reductive interpretation given by A. Charfi. I am not at all persuaded that his chosen standpoint is productive.

© Institut de recherche sur le Maghreb contemporain, 2005

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