The aim of the project described below is to develop two fundamental desiderata of Koranic research: an edition of the Koranic text that meets critical standards and a comprehensive commentary on the Koran that consistently interprets it in the context of its historical context of origin. In contrast to the Kairen Koran edition of 1923, which is currently widespread, the project presented here is intended to make the earliest testimonies of written Koranic tradition as well as the oral reading variants handed down in Islamic literature comprehensively accessible.
Since the scriptural system of early Koranic manuscripts is ambiguous to a high degree (e. g. due to the absence of vowel signs or consonantal diacritics), a strict separation between handwritten findings on the one hand and oral reading of the text is recommended; the edition will therefore have the form of a two-page juxtaposition.
The planned commentary will initially look at the Quran from a consistently diachronic perspective, i. e. as a corpus that has grown successively over the course of more than two decades, which shows formal, content-related and terminological differences and in which earlier texts are frequently interpreted and reinterpreted by later references and additions. Secondly, the commentary pursues a “surenholistic” approach, which at least recognises the Meccan surahs in the Quran as literary units structured by verifiable conventions of construction and a corresponding formal language. Thirdly, it is based on a comprehensive reference to Judeo-Christian intertexts.