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The Koran: Back to the Origins of the Book
A Film by Bruno Ulmer
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film stillThis enlightening documentary explores the origins of the Koran, which according to Muslim tradition, has remained static and unchanged since its revelation to the prophet Mohammed between 610 and 632 CE in Mecca and Medina. However, recent discoveries of Koranic manuscripts analyzed by scientists, dating from around 680-the oldest in the world-indicate that the Koran would appear to have a more complicated history. During the first century of Islam, different concurrent versions of the holy book of Islam are believed to have existed and a number of different readings are possible due to the rudimentary nature of the writing in its early stages.

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European scientists and Islamic scholars are now trying to trace the history of the Koran. From the mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia to that of the Umayyads in Damascus and Al- Azhar in Cairo , the film invites us on a fascinating journey into the heart of the origins of the book and Late Antiquity. THE KORAN: BACK TO THE ORIGINS OF THE BOOK explores where Muslim tradition and scientific research converge.

"Highly Recommended. THE KORAN is beautifully filmed, featuring dramatic and colorful images of manuscripts, paintings, and historic mosques, as well as people of all ages reading the Koran in daily study and worship. The historical background is made more engaging through lovely animations of ancient portraits and maps in flickering jewel tones.

"Viewers may watch the film in its entirety or select from six chapters: Origins of the Koran; The Period of Revelation; Uthman's Koran; The Koran in the Umayyad Period; The Might of Islam; and The Photograph Collection of Gotthelf Bergstrasser. Three additional interviews are included as bonus features, with Deroche, Heider, and Corpus Coranicum Research Director Angelika Neuwirth.

"This fine and accessible introduction is appropriate for adult and young adult (high school) audiences. It is a good choice for general collections as well as those specifically supporting religious studies."
—Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg, Valdosta State University, Educational Media Reviews Online

"Admirable…Brilliant…As much for the beauty of the images as for its care of clarity."—Telerama

"Bruno Ulmer treats a highly controversial topic with sensitivity, striving for understanding, as opposed to judgment… with heavy attention given to artistic imagery, the documentary makes a noteworthy contribution to the study of Islamic history."—Al Jadid

"This intriguing documentary, arranged chronologically, melds scientific research with Muslim teachings to explore the evolution of Islam..."—Booklist

★★★ "Essential viewing for Islamic scholars, this is likely to also be of interest to devout Muslims. Recommended."—Video Librarian

"Essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of Islam"—Leonardo Reviews

52 minutes / Color
English subtitles
Release: 2010
Copyright: 2009

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Anthropology, Geography, History (World), Islam, Middle East, Religion

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