What are the most beautiful editions of the Koran?
October 24, 2015 2:12 PM   Subscribe

I am interested in buying some copies of the Koran to use in an art history class. Any recommendations of editions with beautiful calligraphy or embellishments would be much appreciated. Facsimiles of older copies of the Koran would also be great, if they are affordable. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
posted by mortaddams to Religion & Philosophy (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've been holding my tongue and not answering, but it looks like nobody else is answering either, and possibly for the same reason. So: I'm Jewish, not Muslim, but the idea of passing around an actual religious book in this context raises my hackles. It feels disrespectful to me. Note that there are religious rules around the circumstances in which even a Muslim is permitted to touch the Koran.

I would encourage you to consider copiously illustrated books about the history of Islamic art including illuminated manuscripts, instead.
posted by Andrhia at 7:43 AM on October 25, 2015

How important is it that you get a book, versus showing slides? Or having a printed book?

Given that it is an art history class, I would suggest at looking for images of selected pages that you want to highlight, and either displaying them on the screen, or getting them printed up in color. It will likely also make it easier for your students to understand what about the calligraphy/embellishments is noteworthy. A google search might be a good place to start if you pursue this avenue.
posted by troytroy at 8:32 AM on October 25, 2015

I can't answer your question, but last time I was in Dublin I visited the Chester Beatty Library, which has a beautiful collection of illuminated texts from the Islamic world (including but not limited to the Koran). They had an exhibition about the techniques used in producing these works. They might have some exhibition catalogues or other information that could point you in the right direction.
posted by robcorr at 4:48 PM on October 25, 2015

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