My term paper is titled “Sin and Satan in the Qurʾān and Bible” for “SARS-1000: The Qur’an: Origin, Application, Interpretations.” This Spring 2022 class was lead by Professor Mahjabeen Dhala, at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. The paper begins:
In this paper, I consider sin and Satan, with a focus on the stories of Joseph and Job, both in the Qurʾān and in the Bible. I chose this topic because, as a jail Chaplain, I find prisoners are very aware of sin and Satan, and I wanted to learn more. The anthropomorphic personification of Satan is a huge topic, so I have concentrated on a limited set of scriptural verses to keep to term paper length, rather than allowing this to grow into a dissertation. There is much more to be said based on the thousands of scholarly and religious works (many with conflicting opinions) written on these topics over many centuries. I assert that ideas of embodied sin and the personification of Satan evolved over at least a thousand years (between 500 BCE and 610 CE), through Biblical and Qurʾānic stories and exegetical understandings that are sometimes not substantiated by sacred texts. Historical evolution presupposes a starting point, and this paper considers alternatives for the first Biblical mention of sin.
Read the entire paper here. I also prepared a presentation to go with the paper, with illustrations inspired by both Biblical and Qurʾānic sources. See that presentation here.
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