Studies on Mingana Palimpsest and Qur’an Manuscripts: New Attitudes Towards Researching the Sources and Conducting Research on Them
In the conference, which was held on 3 March 2016, KURAMER hosted Dr. Alba Fedeli, who is a researcher at the Central European University, Budapest.
Fedeli, who completed her PhD on Qur’an Manuscripts, which was publicized by BBC as “The Oldest Qur’an Manuscripts” and gained attention from all over the world, presented the conference, titled “Studies on Mingana Palimpsest and Qur’an Manuscripts: New Attitudes Towards Researching the Sources and Conducting Research on Them”.
Dr. Alba Fedeli began her speech by summarising the direction of Qur’an studies in the West from its beginning up to this date. According to this summary, this process began in 1856 by Theodor Noldeke’s guidance and it was strengthened after Michel Amari (1806-1889). Theodor Noldeke (1836-1930) was awarded by French Academy in the mid-19th century. By the beginning of the twentieth century, it became possible to archive and digitalize Qur’an manuscripts and this led to a new era in Qur’an Studies. As a result of these developments, Gothelf Bergstrasser (1886-1933) developed a project, in which it was aimed to collect Qur’an manuscripts. Although the idea that this archive was destroyed during the bombings of Second World War, interrupted the project, Anton Spitaler (1910-2013) accessed the photographs taken from the libraries in Europe and Middle East at the beginning of the twentieth century. Spitaler left these photos with his student Angelika Neuwirth. This archive, which was composed after such a historical process, constitutes the basis of Corpus Qoranicum Project, which has been in operation since 2014 in Berlin.
After summarising the historical flow of Qur’an Studies, Dr. Fedeli explained the physical works made on the mushaf manuscripts. She first mentioned the radiocarbon analysis, which is used to identify the age of manuscripts. She stated that both manuscripts, which are located in Mingana Collection at Birmingham University, were subjected to the carbon tests. However, she stressed the fact that the results of these tests have been misinterpreted in the media by some academics. Dr. Fedeli said that due to the widespread use of the media, the internet and thereby social-media, some erroneous information spread without control. She also said that this disinformation drew more interest than the manuscripts themselves.
Dr. Fedeli stated that it is essential to approach the result of the radiocarbon test with caution and to take the physical features of the manuscripts into account when we identify the age of the manuscripts. Afterwards, she shared the results of her own research. In this part, she delivered some solid data including orthographic features of the manuscript, the stenographer’s lapses, and the use of the page.
During the last phase of her speech, she mentioned her studies that are based on digital coding of the manuscripts’ contents, which is termed as “digital philology”. She stated that in virtue of these studies, it will be a lot easier to group all manuscripts in the libraries and to relate them to each other.
After the presentation, the questions were discussed and there were exchange of ideas between the experts in the field and Dr. Alba Fedeli.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr. Alba Fedeli
Budapeşte’de bulunan Central European Üniversitesi’nde (CEU)’da öğretim üyesi olan Dr. Alba Fedeli, erken dönem Kur’an yazmalarının nakli üzerinde filo-genetik yöntemlerin uygulanmasıyla alakalı bir araştırma yapmaktadır. Aynı zamanda Milan’da bulunan Ambrosiana Kütüphanesi’nin Arap Çalışmaları Bölümü’nde asistan olarak görev yapmakta ve Birmingham Üniversitesi’nde Metin İlimleri ve Elektronik Edisyon Enstitüsü’nde fahri araştırmacı olarak çalışmaktadır. Mingana Koleskiyonu’ndaki Kur’an Yazmaları üzerinde dijital filoloji araçlarını kullanarak hazırladığı doktora teziyle Birmingham Üniversitesi’nden doktor unvanını almıştır. Doktora çalışması esnasında Birmingham Kur’anı olarak tanınan nüsha ve Mingana-Lewis yazmaları üzerinde çalışmıştır.
2004-2012 yılları arasında Milan Üniversitesi’nde okumuş; üniversitede okuduğu 2004-2008 yılları arasında Ferni Noja Noseda Derneği’nde yönetici olarak görev almıştır. Kur’an yazmalarıyla alakalı birçok projede yer alan Fedeli, 2006-2007 yıllarında Yemen’de Daru’l-Mahtutat’da bulunan yazmaların dijital ortama aktarılması üzerinde çalışmış ve Sana’da Ulu Cami’de keşfedilen Kur’an yazmalarıyla alakalı bir incelemede bulunmuştur.
Şimdiye kadar yapmış olduğu yayınlar erken dönem Kur’an yazmalarına olan ilgisini göstermektedir. Fedeli’nin bu ilgisi Profesör Sergio Noja Noseda ile yaptığı işbirliğiyle başlamıştır.