Ethiopian Studies Workshop - Loanwords in the Qur'an

October 11, 2022 by Communications

We hope you will join us for the next Ethiopian Studies of North American workshop on Friday, October 21, 3-5 pm Eastern Time.

Suleyman Dost, Assistant Professor of Late Antiquity and Early Islam at University of Toronto, will present “A Reappraisal of Ethiopic Loanwords in the Quran.” Below is an abstract of the talk and the data to connect via Zoom. We look forward to seeing you there!

When and Where

Friday, October 21, 2022 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm


It has long been recognized that the Qur’an contains loanwords from the Classical Ethiopic language among others. Some of these loanwords from Ge’ez are particularly important as they constitute the key Christian vocabulary of the Qur’an. Despite the predominance of Ethiopic and other South Semitic words in the Qur’an’s religious terminology, recent scholarship on the Qur’an sought the origins of the text in a milieu dominated by a Syriac Christian religious idiom. In this talk, I revisit the question of Syriac influence on the Qur’an’s religious terminology. I argue that the paradigm of the predominance of Syro-Aramaic religious idiom in the Qur’ān needs to be reevaluated in the light of recent studies, and not least because it thrived at the expense of a more balanced perspective that takes into account the connections between Arabia and the world to its south dominated by Ethiopian Christianity. In the second part, I will discuss the ways in which Classical Ethiopian sources could be useful for contextualizing the Qur’ān’s discourse concerning biblical and parabiblical matters as an alternative to Syriac Christian sources. 

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Topic: ESNA Oct
Time: Oct 21, 2022 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 966 4926 7996
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