God in the Qur'an

God in the Qur'an book cover, by Jack Miles

"I hope [that by reading this book] you may find it a little easier to trust the Muslim next door, thinking of him as someone whose religion, after all, may not be so wildly unreasonable that someone holding to it could not be a trusted friend." 
~ Jack Miles


One who has lived many years in a city, as soon as he goes to sleep,
Beholds another city full of good and evil, and his own city vanishes from his mind.
He does not say to himself, "This is a new city: I am a stranger here."
Nay, he thinks he has always lived in this city and was born and bred in it.
~ Rumi 

November 13, 2018. Knopf, 272 pages.

Editorial Reviews:

"A unique comparison of the Bible and the Qur’an.
Pulitzer Prize winner Miles (Emeritus, English and Religious Studies/Univ. of California, Irving; Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, 2001, etc.) approaches the Qur’an with respect and curiosity while acknowledging the fact of his roots as a Christian believer and scholar. He sets out to discover who God is in the context of the Qur’an and how God interacts with humanity. Part of the author’s motivation is to bring readers closer to an understanding of their Muslim neighbors and how they may view Allah through scripture. Miles studies the Qur’an alongside the Jewish/Christian Bible, comparing and contrasting how the two holy books—and, by extension, the religions they undergird—view deity. "We must learn," he writes, "to read one another’s scriptures, be they secular or sacred, with the same understanding and accommodating eye that we turn upon our own." The author focuses on characters familiar to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and Jesus, all of whom appear in the Qur’an with stories far different from those that appear in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Miles discovers an author, Allah, who is interested above all else in the conversion of individuals and nations. His all-consuming interest is for his creation to believe in him; to that end, he “corrects” prior scriptures that record the tales of the precursors to Muhammad in a differing manner. Noah is not singled out to be saved so much as he preaches the message of Islam to unbelievers. Abraham is less the father of a nation than he is an ultimate example of a good Muslim, submitting to God’s word. Jesus is not a figure of redemption, sacrificing himself for others, but instead a prophet and an example of submission. Ultimately, the author has produced a thoroughly readable, literary, and astute approach toward understanding Allah, as God, through basic literary criticism.
Good reading and an excellent tool for interfaith dialogue."  Kirkus Reviews

"In its stunning scope, its forensic analysis, and its lofty message, God in the Qur’an has no predecessor and no competitor among books that scan the horizon of Abrahamic scriptures. At once accessible and challenging, the Biblical/Qur’anic narratives are recounted here with clarity and conviction. The reader—whether religious or non-religious, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or atheist—is offered a new vista into divine-human encounters evoked by one of their most skilled interpreters, Jack Miles. A milestone of literary and theological scholarship." — Bruce Bennett Lawrence, author of The Koran in English – A Biography

"Jack Miles’ God in the Qur’an is the culmination of an extraordinary three-part biography—or theograpy, as he has termed it—of the central character in the sacred scriptures of Jews, the Christians, and now the Muslims. In this book, as in the previous books in the trilogy, Miles draws upon rich theological learning that he manages to wear lightly and gracefully. He draws too upon an extraordinary literary sensibility that enables him to illuminate brilliantly those scriptural places where the three monotheisms converge and where they strikingly differ. Above all, he draws upon unfailing moral intelligence, sympathetic imagination, and human decency, qualities that are sorely needed not only in this critically important interfaith project but also in the world whose shadows fall so darkly upon us all." — Stephen Greenblatt, author, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

"God in the Qur’an is not your typical ‘feel-good-we-are-all-brothers-and-sisters’ read but rather a careful, critical, loving and deeply perceptive examination of how God really appears in this sacred scripture. This is a remarkable contribution to a remarkable topic, and a book not to be missed." — Reuven Firestone, author, An Introduction to Islam for Jews

"In this extraordinary, beautifully written book, Jack Miles continues his exploration of the nature of God in scripture by turning his trained eyes to the Qur’an. To put it simply, this is one of the finest books I have ever read on the Qur’an, and everyone who truly wants to understand Islam and Muslims should read it." — Amir Hussain, author, Muslims and the Making of America

"Jack Miles has done it again! In a fascinating and creative way, his latest book helps Jews and Christians understand the Qur’an, not by paraphrasing or summarizing its teachings, but by having Allah speak directly about key persons — Adam and his wife, Abraham and his sons, Jesus and his mother—who appear in the Tanakh and the Christian Bible. His brilliant comparative reading of selected passages of the Qur’an sheds an appreciative light on all three religions, noting both similarities and differences, but all the while increasing our much-needed understanding of the Qur’an." — Father James L. Heft, author, Passing on the Faith

"With God in the Qur’an, Jack Miles completes the literary pilgrimage that gave us God: A Biography and Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God. This time Allah is the central character, and drawing on the Qur’an, but also the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, Miles puts him in play with the cross-over figures of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and Jesus. As with his earlier books, Miles mines all three texts to strikingly original effect, generating new insights about the Qur’an but also about its sibling scriptures." — Jane Dammen McAuliffe, editor, The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an 

More info & pre-order:
Amazon: Hardcover
Publisher's Website: Penguin Random House