Prophet Muhammad refers to Jews and Christians

  1. In the Qur’an the Prophet Muhammad refers to Jews and Christians as “people of the book” -a name that identifies these societies as significantly different from other cultures and communities. The fact that a universalizing social identity was developed out of a -boor or set of scriptures that reflects the religious and cultural experiences of a tribal society over a millennium signifies a new way of creating what Charles Taylor calls a “social imaginary.” Using examples from your readings from the Old Testament, the New Testament Augustine’s Confessions, and/or the Qur’an, develop your own thesis about how this universalizing process of identity is produced through stories, figuration, and ultimately the conversion narrative. Why was this “figural” identity with a book so effective in creating subsequent large-scale communities?

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