Pneumatology of the Qur'ān : a study in phenomenology
The western student of the Qur'ān who attempts to interpret this scripture which is held to be sacred and inviolable by millions of pious Muslims throughout the world must constantly re-examine his methods of study and his principles of interpretation, knowing that he will be challenged from two fronts--from the standpoint of critical accuracy and from the standpoint of religious dogma. One objective of the present study is to begin developing a method of Qur'ānic interpretation which is intended to meet this two-fold challenge. This task has been pursued by following the approach called "phenomenology" as it has developed in the general field of History of Religions during the past two generations. Since this approach has not been applied systematically to Qur'ānic studies, an introductory chapter has been devoted to a survey of the main principles of phenomenology, an application of these principles to the study of the Qur'ān, and an outline of a proposed phenomenological method for the exegesis and interpretation of the Qur'ān.