Rudi Paret

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Rudolf Paret

Rudolf "Rudi" Paret (born April 3, 1901 in Wittendorf ; † January 31, 1983 in Tübingen ) was a philologist and Islamic scholar , from whom the translation of the Koran into German , which is authoritative in scientific circles, comes.

Live and act

Rudi Paret was one of five children of the Wittendorf pastor Wilhelm Paret and the watchmaker's daughter Maria Felicitas, née Müller (* 1869) from Tübingen. While his older brothers Karl and Alfred fell in World War I, Rudi Paret attended theological seminars in Schöntal and Urach from 1916 and studied Protestant theology at the University of Tübingen as a scholarship holder of the Tübingen Evangelical Foundation from 1920 . However, he soon switched to oriental studies and received his doctorate in 1924 under Enno Littmann with the thesis Sīrat Saif ibn Ḏhī Jazan. An Arabic folk novel. In 1926 he qualified as a professor in Tübingen for oriental studies with his work Der Ritter-Roman von ʿUmar an-Nuʿmān and his position on the collection of Arabian Nights. A contribution to the history of Arab literature . He was then able to work as an assistant in Tübingen.

His scientific career led Paret in 1930 to the University of Heidelberg , where he initially took on a teaching position. In 1935 he was made a non-civil servant and in 1939 a civil servant associate professor. In 1940 he was appointed to represent the chair for Semitic and Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn . He was a member of the German Christian Institute for Research and Elimination of the Jewish Influence on German Church Life in Eisenach . From 1941 on he served as an interpreter for Arabic in the German Africa Corps , after which he was taken prisoner by the Americans , from which he returned in 1946. In 1948 he married Hanna Kueppers (* 1911) from Königsberg, a daughter of Walter Kueppers .

In 1951 he returned to Tübingen and followed Enno Littmann to the chair for Semitic and Islamic studies there. In the summer semester of 1968 he retired. In 1980 he became a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences .

Paret was best known for his translation of the Koran , first published in 1966 , which is still the most important German translation in science today. For the first time Paret used methods known to him from historical-critical research on the biblical tradition. The translation has been carried out with scientific precision, which, however, affects the legibility for the layperson. The author is well aware of the shortcomings in his translation of the Koran, as he writes in his foreword:

"The translation must [...] adhere to the word order and expression of the Arabic text. Overall, this results in a certain inconsistency. Passages formulated in liquid form alternate in seemingly arbitrary changes with passages that sound awkward and are also difficult to understand. That has to be accepted. "

- Rudi Paret : The Koran

Although Paret's translation is largely undisputed for scientific purposes, it has also found critics, including Stefan Wild and his pupil Navid Kermani , who consider the translation to be overly "meticulous" and therefore too cumbersome. The Islamic scholar Hartmut Bobzin, on the other hand, names Paret's translation in the foreword of his own book The Koran (Beck 2004) which is “still best founded philologically”, although the translation has not yet existed. Paret's work is highly valued in international Islamic studies and, alongside the translations by Adel Theodor Khoury and Friedrich Rückert, is undoubtedly the most authoritative one at the moment. In his book Commentary and Concordance on the Koran Paret dispenses with an analytical subject index , mainly for reasons of time.

Paret is the author of several editions of the Kleine Arabic Sprachlehre , a short Arabic grammar based on the work of Ernst Harder ; "The little book should be a practical and reliable aid for all those who want to familiarize themselves with the basic features of the written Arabic language in the shortest possible time". First he was involved in the 3rd edition of 1938, last he edited the grammar for the 10th edition in 1964. The 11th edition appeared under the name Harder and edited by Annemarie Schimmel . Harder and Schimmel have been named as authors since the 13th edition.

His estate is in the Tübingen University Library .

Works (selection)

  • On the question of women in the Arab-Islamic world . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1934. (Without ISBN).
  • Little Arabic language teaching . Together with Ernst Harder . Groos, Heidelberg. 1938. (Without ISBN) (Tenth edition 1964).
  • A century of oriental studies. Pictures of life from the pen of Enno Littmann and a list of his writings . Edited by Rudi Paret and Anton Schall . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1955. ISBN 978-3-447-00563-0 .
  • Mohammed and the Koran . History and proclamation of the Arab prophet. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1957. ISBN 3-17-018839-9 (tenth edition 2008).
  • The world of Islam and the present . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1961. (Without ISBN).
  • The Koran . Translation by Rudi Paret. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1966. ISBN 978-3-17-019829-6 (twelfth edition 2014).
  • Arabic and Islamic studies at German universities . German orientalists since Theodor Nöldeke. Steiner, Wiesbaden 1966. (Without ISBN).
  • The Study of Arabic and Islam at German Universities. German Orientalists since Theodor Nöldeke . Steiner, Wiesbaden 1968. (Without ISBN).
  • The Koran . Commentary and concordance by Rudi Paket. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1971. ISBN 978-3-17-022670-8 (eighth edition 2012).
  • The Koran . Edited by Rudi Paret. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1975. ISBN 3-534-05465-2 (Paths of Research. Volume CCCXXVI).
  • The Koran . Verlag für Collectors, Graz 1979; ISBN 3-85365-039-2
  • Writings on Islam . Folk novel, women's question, ban on images. Published by Josef van Ess . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1981; ISBN 3-17-005981-5
  • The Koran . Translated, commented and introduced by Rudi Paret. Directmedia Publishing , Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89853-146-5 (CD-ROM).


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Johann Büssow , Stefan Rosiny and Christian Saßmannshausen: ORIENTATION: A guide for (future) Islamic scholars at the Free University of Berlin ( Memento from January 29, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) . Berlin, 2016. p. 30
  2. Hartmut Bobzin: Paret, Rudi (actually Rudolf), German biography [1]
  3. Rudi Paret: The Koran . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1966 (1983 3 ), pp. 6-7
  4. Mahmoud Abu-Shuair: Mohammed as a historical figure: The image of the Islam prophet in Rudi Paret , p. 50 (Google-Books Link, accessed on May 22, 2015)
  5. Rudi Paret in the foreword to the 7th edition (1959), p. III.
  6. ^ Tübingen University Library, in the estate catalog under the signature Md 1088.