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Seminar: Wisdom and Natural Law: from the Bible to the Qur'an

  • The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies 109A Iffley Road Oxford United Kingdom (map)

Saqib Hussain, D.Phil Candidate, Wolfson College, Oxford


My DPhil research is looking at the so-called “Wisdom” tradition in the Bible, its evolution in the post-Biblical era and its merging with Natural Law traditions, and finally its relationship to the Qur’an. Biblical Wisdom texts refer to a group of books in the Hebrew Bible that emphasise the importance of Wisdom (as opposed to Law), such as the Book of Proverbs. They are thus clearly distinct from the books in the Hebrew Bible in which the Law of YHWH is given pride of place. The question naturally arises whether there can ever be a conflict or tension between the commandments of the Law and the dictates of Wisdom. I argue that the Hebrew Bible itself addresses this question in various passages, as, later, do rabbinic and patristic texts. The Qur’an inherits and engages with this debate.