Applying the Canon in Islam: The Authorization and Maintenance of Interpretive Reasoning in Hanafi Scholarship

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SUNY Press, Jul 3, 1996 - Religion - 324 pages
Using examples from Islamic law, Ndembu divination, and Aranda religion, this book argues how the notion of "canon" is used to authorize and maintain certain types of interpretive reasoning and the social institutions that employ them. The bulk of the book outlines how the Hanafi school of Islamic law was able to legitimize itself by extending the canonical authority of the Quran to the sunnah of the prophet, the opinions of selected local authorities, and the scholarship of earlier generations. The Hanafi example shows that the application of canon is not about overcoming the limits of a "closed" text but rather about imposing limits on a range of interpretations made possible by a variegated and malleable textual corpus.
 

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Contents

The Authorization of Exegesis
17
Restricting Authority to the Classical Schools
67
The Logic of the Opinions
115
Maintenance of Authority
167
Conclusions
225
Notes
241
Bibliography
291
Index
319
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About the author (1996)

Brannon M. Wheeler is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization at the University of Washington, Seattle.

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