Translations of the Qurʾan: Western languages

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter falls into two parts. The first traces the history of the key translations of the Qur’an in its entirety into Western languages (mainly English, French, German, and Latin) from the Middle Ages to the present day. The emphasis is on the factors that affected the production and reception of these translations, including military conflict, religious polemics within Christianity, and the growth of Arabic and Islamic Studies as an academic field within Western institutions and centres of learning. The second part investigates some theoretical issues arising from this account, including the difficulties attendant upon translating a sacred text and pleading for the value of the literary register in understanding the Qur’an and its translation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of Qurʾanic studies
EditorsMustafa Shah, Muhammad Abdel Haleem
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780191822087
ISBN (Print)9780199698646, 9780198896203
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2020


  • Qur'an translation: English
  • Qur'an translation: French
  • Qur'an translation: German
  • Qur'an translation: Latin
  • Islam
  • Translation studies and theory
  • Religious polemic


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