"The Koran Questions for Alfred J. Drake's English 242: World Literature 400-1600 CE, Spring 2009 at Chapman University"



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Assigned: The Koran (1426-60).

The Koran

1. From 1429-32, what relationship does the text specify as proper between men and women? What responsibilities are allotted to them respectively?

2. From 1432-41, the text deals in part with proper ceremonial conduct and dietary restrictions for Muslims, and in part with the right way to regard Jews and Christians. Focus on the latter issue -- how should a Muslim consider and behave towards these "People of the Book"? What praises are offered with regard to Jews and Christians, and what criticisms are made?

3. From 1441-46, the text addresses the status of The Koran, and deals poetically with the brevity of life and the faithlessness of nations. What exactly is said about The Koran's value as a guide and as a book of admonishment? Why have the earth's various people seldom obeyed for long the prophets God has sent them?

4. From 1446-52, The Koran tells the story of Joseph. In what ways is this recounting similar to the story as told in Genesis (see Norton Vol. 1A, pp. 66-77), and in what ways does it differ? What lesson is taught by The Koran's version?

5. From 1452-55, The Koran tells the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus. What points of similarity do you find between this account and basic Christian doctrine about Mary, Jesus, and the "End Times"? What powers are ascribed to Jesus, and what fundamental Christian tenet does the text find unacceptable?

6. From 1456-60, what orientation towards God and towards earthly life do these selections advise readers to take?

Edition: Lawall, Sarah, ed. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd edition. Volumes 1ABC. New York: Norton, 2002. ISBN A = 0-393-97755-2, B = 0-393-97756-0, C = 0-393-97757-9.