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      A Structural Analysis of Sūrat Maryam, Verses 1–58

      research-article
      Journal of Qur'anic Studies
      Edinburgh University Press
      Mary, Sura 19, Qur'an, narrative, structure, secrets

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          Abstract

          This article takes a structural approach to the stories told in Q. 19:1–58. Relying on the theoretical ideas of Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes, and Wayne Booth, and focusing primarily on the Qur'anic text itself while referring to classical and modern Qur'an commentaries, it uses structural analysis as a tool with which to analyse the theme of secrets that is prominent throughout the various stories told in this section of Sūrat Maryam. In the course of this analysis this paper explores how structure is first established in this sura, and how it changes as the section progresses. It then goes on to discuss the narrative techniques through which the story presents metaphysical beliefs of God's centrality while moving from narrative to metanarrative. It addresses the ways in which the dramatic tension and irony inherent to the subtextual juxtaposition of the signs for secrets maintained and secrets revealed are expressed in the stories told within the text; by signifying God's omniscience, these signs thus serve to further the Qur'an's expression of metaphysical beliefs about God.

          Most cited references64

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          The Rhetoric of Fiction

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            Literary theory: An introduction

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              Violence and the Sacred

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JQS
                Journal of Qur'anic Studies
                Edinburgh University Press ( 22 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LF UK )
                1465-3591
                1755-1730
                February 2016
                : 18
                : 1
                : 92-116
                Affiliations
                University of California, Berkeley
                Article
                10.3366/jqs.2016.0223
                e161fb9c-b2e6-48fa-85c5-d30617a454e4
                © Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS
                History
                Page count
                Tables: 4, References: 39, Pages: 25
                Categories
                Articles in English
                Islamic Studies

                Political science,Literature of other nations & languages,Art history & Criticism,Religious studies & Theology,Arab world & Islam,History
                narrative,structure,Qur'an,secrets,Mary,Sura 19

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