Year of the Arabian Peninsula Lecture Debates Origins of Islam

September 17, 2014

While it is considered common knowledge that the Muslim religion originated from within the Arabian region – specifically around the cities of Mecca and Medina – some scholars are not so sure.

On Sept. 18, 2014, Gabriel Said Reynolds, Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will present a lecture at Kennesaw State University titled Scholarly Debates over the Arabian Origins of Islam. The lecture will be held in room 1019 of the Social Sciences Building at 12:30pm.

Historians are beginning to question the conventional origins of Islam now that they have a better understanding of the cities of Mecca and Medina during the medieval period – when Islam first began to rise. Many scholars now believe those cities had prominent Christian and Jewish populations during that time, and that Islam may have grown alongside those religions. Some historians think that Islam actually originated elsewhere in the world and then migrated to this region.

Reynolds is an expert on the history of Islam, having written two books on the topic, The Qur’an and its Biblical Subtext and The Emergence of Islam. He also co-directed “The Qur’an Seminar,” a year-long project encouraging dialogue among Qur’an scholars. Reynolds is currently conducting research for a new book on what Biblical traditions can reveal about the Qur’an.

Scholarly Debates over the Arabian Origins of Islam is part of the Year of Arabian Peninsula at Kennesaw State. Be sure to attend all the other informative events that are part of the year-long Year of Arabian Peninsula celebration.

-Patrick Harbin

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