Rachel Friedman

Rachel Friedman is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Classical and Pre-Modern Arabic Literature in the Program in Comparative Literature at Williams College. She completed her PhD in classical Arabic literature and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. Her dissertation, “Clarity, Communication, and Understandability: Theorizing Language in al-Bāqillānī’s Iʿjāz al-Qurʾān and Uṣūl al-Fiqh Texts,” investigates theories of language in the thought of a key scholar of the classical period of Islam. It draws into dialogue the two apparently disparate discourses of legal theory and the inimitability of the Qur’ān, analyzing areas of intersection with the result of demonstrating the consistency and implications of al-Bāqillānī’s thought on topics such as the status of Qur’ānic language and figurative expressions. Rachel has authored articles on various aspects of thought on the Qur’ān, including “Interrogating Structural Interpretation of the Qur’ān,” published in Der Islam. Her current research focuses on the interplay of classical Arabic literary theory and the doctrine of the Qur’ān’s inimitability.

Rachel Friedman on MRB

Can a Reader use Western Literary Theory to Approach the Qur’an? On Whitney Bodman’s The Poetics of Iblis.