The planned third-party-project, the Corpus Coranicum Christianum (CCC), explores the Qur'an and its reception in a historical and diachronic manner from an exterior Christian perspective. To this end, the translations (corpus) of the Qur'an (coranicum) in the Syrian, Greek and Latin languages, stemming from a Christian cultural sphere (christianum) and, falling temporally between the emergence of Islam in the 7th century and the 13th century, are being examined and philologically processed in an Open Access-Databank. Following which, they will be annotated and made available for both the scientific community and the general public using accepted standards. An interdisciplinary approach to this academic investigation allows for a fact based approach – utilizing historical and philological criteria – to the formation and development of the Islamic-image in Europe and the Western world. Through this process, the motifs and stereotypes of the Christian perception of Islam, which are inherent in these sources, can be traced back their genesis and to the beginning of Islam. This historical reconstruction, which is not only to be seen in comparison with ongoing discourses, offers at its very foundation an academically based, open discourse with Islam.
The origin of the Corpus Coranicum Christianum (CCC) is found in the Doctoral Thesis of Manolis Ulbricht (Post Doctoral Researcher), “Coranus Graecus”, in which the oldest translation of the Qur'an is editorially unlocked in a philological and contextual manner. At the same time as this work was made available in print, a “Digital Edition of the Coranus Graecus” was developed within the framework of the research orientated doctrine of the Freie Universität Berlin. The digital display of the manuscript appropriately follows the standards of the Academy’s Project Corpus Coranicum, conforming with the TEI-XML format (p5- terms of reference), in order to facilitate the process of cooperation. The resulting ‘static’ Website is available as a Beta-Version and was introduced to university affiliates (14/07/2015) [German].
Adhering to the research orientated doctrine of the Freie Universtität Berlin, Manolis Ulbricht will offer regular research training, which reflects the academic focal point of inter-religious dialogues. Recently, the Byzantine Department’s project “The Digitization of Philology – the Corpus Coranicum Christianum”, was officially awarded the prize of the Teching Award 2016 by the President of the Freie Universität Berlin (Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt) on 09/02/2017 and, since the winter semester of 2017/18 has been offered as an interdisciplinary course (Course No. 16280 and 16283) to students from various departments.
The connecting factor of the Corpus Coranicum Christianum is the Corpus Coranicum (BBAW, Prof. Dr. A. Neuwirth), which concentrates on the Arabic Manuscripts of the Quranic text. On the one hand, the pre-exisiting technical infrastructure of the Corpus Coranicum (CC) will be adopted as far as possible, in terms of the digital formatting of the data for the Corpus Coranicum Christianum, which is being done in preparation for possible synergy. One the other hand, the scholarly field of this academic project, which concentrates on a Christian reading of the Quran, will be enhanced. In a further step, a more suitable arrangement for the financing of this project should be sought after.
The structure of this planned project corresponds with the linguistic breakdown: The Corpus Coranicum Christianum (CCC) will consist of the sub-projects Corpus Coranicum Syriacum (CCS), Corpus Coranicum Byzantium (CCB) and the Corpus Coranicum Latinum (CCL). Through this, it can be guaranteed that any differences or analogies in the translation of the Qur'an, detected on the basis of its language and, without interference from any of the sub-projects, can be made beneficial for the research.
The comparison of the research results from the individual projects will follow in a further phase. The connecting junction of the three sub-projects is the Christian backdrop, from which the translations of the Quran and the subsequent interpretations of the Qur'anic text developed. On the basis of their early composition (7th–9th century) these are to be considered comparable or complimentary to the (to this point) known Muslim-Arabic Quranic Exegetical Literature. In contrast to the Corpus Coranicum (CC), which is solely concerned with the Muslim Qur'anic tradition, the Corpus Coranicum Christianum will preform a systematic comparison of the non-Muslim receptions and transformations of the Quran from the diverse Christian cultural areas with one another, as well as a synoptic comparison in relation to the Islamic understanding of the Quran.
The results of the linguistic, cultural and theological analysis will be implemented in the form of several annotation levels, through which they will be both synoptically comparable and generally understandable. Furthermore, the academic transcription of the digitized manuscripts will be converted into XML following unified parameters for all languages and then, based on the above mentioned aspects, annotated and commentated. In the subsequent phases of processing, the different annotation levels can be implemented and the texts will be extensively compared and made searchable via the register and a Full-Text-Search. Regarding sustainability and the long term archiving of data, we will fall back on already existing models and standardized interfaces. Thus, the texts should be displayed following the XML-TEI-Standard and then further processed along-side the related X-Technologies, such as XSLT and XQuery.