. . . or actual fire, as Qur’an researchers prepare what is carefully referred to as a “critical edition”:
A team of researchers at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences is preparing to bring out the first installment of Corpus Coranicum — which purports to be nothing less than the first critically evaluated text of the Qur’an ever to be produced.
What this means is that the research team is in the process of analysing and transcribing some 12,000 slides of Qur’an mansucripts from the first six centuries of the text’s existence. Once that is complete, the way is open to producing a text that annotates and, presumably, provides some sort of exegesis on the differences found in the early manuscripts.
The impact of such a project can hardly be underestimated.
Update: It is an inherently dangerous act to discuss certain works, never mind to apply academic analysis tools and provide readers with context and interpretation. This project is intended to be complete by 2025 (they’re concentrating on small sections to start with). The debate — of which I suspect I really should say the uproar — will likely consume a lot of bandwidth. If the Berlin scholars are unlucky, it may consume significant chunks of their city.
On this news, Ghost of a Flea finds an interesting parallel.