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Tilman Nagels Kritik an der Isnad-cum-matn-Analyse. Eine Replik


Görke, Andreas; Motzki, Harald (2014). Tilman Nagels Kritik an der Isnad-cum-matn-Analyse. Eine Replik. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 68(2):497-518.

Abstract

In a recent issue of Arabica, Tilman Nagel published a fundamental critique of the isnād-cum-matn analysis. He claims that the method is a formalistic procedure that is incapable of producing any relevant results with regard to the life of Muḥammad and that is to be regarded as a step backwards in the study of the historical Muḥammad. He also criticises the proponents of this method – most notably Gregor Schoeler and Harald Motzki – and accuses them of methodological flaws and scholarly naïveté. In particular, he argues that the proponents of this method wrongly claim that it allows the identification of ‘authentic’ traditions about the life of Muḥammad.

The following article offers a critical review of Nagel's arguments. It shows that Nagel's criticism is fraught with misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the works he discusses and that his accusations are thus unwarranted and untenable. The article also explains what the isnād-cum-matn analysis actually is and how it can be used for dating traditions, which is – in contrast to Nagel's claims – the method's primary objective.

Abstract

In a recent issue of Arabica, Tilman Nagel published a fundamental critique of the isnād-cum-matn analysis. He claims that the method is a formalistic procedure that is incapable of producing any relevant results with regard to the life of Muḥammad and that is to be regarded as a step backwards in the study of the historical Muḥammad. He also criticises the proponents of this method – most notably Gregor Schoeler and Harald Motzki – and accuses them of methodological flaws and scholarly naïveté. In particular, he argues that the proponents of this method wrongly claim that it allows the identification of ‘authentic’ traditions about the life of Muḥammad.

The following article offers a critical review of Nagel's arguments. It shows that Nagel's criticism is fraught with misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the works he discusses and that his accusations are thus unwarranted and untenable. The article also explains what the isnād-cum-matn analysis actually is and how it can be used for dating traditions, which is – in contrast to Nagel's claims – the method's primary objective.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 68 (2014) > 2
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
Language:German
Date:2014
Deposited On:03 Oct 2014 12:59
Last Modified:11 Mar 2020 14:14
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0004-4717
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2014-0029

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