God is beautiful

This outstanding work fills a major lacuna in both the study of the Qur’├ón as scripture and the study of Muslim faith, practice, and sprituality.
It is an estimable scholarly and intellectual accomplishment that will be of significant interest to any student of Islam or the general history of religion.”
William Graham, Harvard University

“Navid Kermani, himself an highly accomplished and honored writer of artistic prose, sets out to (and succeeds) in articulating the Muslim response to the Qur’an as a work of inimitable beauty, a beauty, moreover, that is only available to those capable of reading it in Arabic.
Reading Kermani has opened me up to an even greater appreciation than ever of the Muslim tradition and awakened in me an even greater desire to someday read the Qur’an in Arabic.
The book is anything but a “fundamentalist” defense of the Qur’an on aesthetic terms but rather a beautiful evocation of the meaning of that beauty for Muslims in the past and today.”
Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley

“Navid Kermani has written one of the most insightful books on religion to appear in decades. His approach is ground breaking, a dazzling display of his profound knowledge of Islam, and his extraordinary insight into the nature of religious experience.”
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College

God is Beautiful: The Aesthetic Experience of the Quran, translator: Tony Crawford, 400 pages, Polity Press, Cambridge 2014. Available in Arabic: Al-Kamel Verlag.

The melodious recitation of the Quran is a fundamental aesthetic experience for Muslims, and the start of a compelling journey of ideas.

In this important new book, the prominent German writer and Islamic scholar Navid Kermani considers the manner in which the Quran has been perceived, apprehended and experienced by its recipients from the time of the Prophet to the present day.

Drawing on a wide range of Muslim sources, from historians, theologians and philosophers to mystics and literary scholars, Kermani provides a close reading of the nature of this powerful text.

He proceeds to analyze ancient and modern testimonies about the impact of Quranic language from a variety of angles.

Although people have always reflected on the reception of texts, images and sounds that they find beautiful or moving, Kermani explains that Islam provides a particularly striking example of the close correlation, grounded in a common origin, between art and religion, revelation and poetry, and religious and aesthetic experience.

This major new book will enhance the dialogue between Islam and the West and will appeal to students and scholars of Islam and comparative religion, as well as to a wider readership interested in Islam and the Quran.

(Source: Wiley)

Review: Experiencing the Quran aesthetically