A Survey and Assessment of German Approaches to Sirah
This paper attempts to address the question why German critical and polemical sirah-writings garnered little reaction at the time they were written in the 1970s, and only began to receive greater interest at the beginning of the twenty-first century. What has changed since the 1970s? In answering such question, a brief and selected overview of German contributions to the literature on the life of the Prophet is presented. This will be traced from the early German biographers, critics, and sceptics, and deniers and revisionists who have gained quite some ground in the backdrop of a new political culture evolving in the wake of growing Islamophobia and populism. The conclusions will set out some of the issues that may be important for further sirah-studies both in the light of questions pertaining to the historiography of religion in general and sirah-writing in particular.
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