The research and data visualizations that are found on this site are apart of a digital history project done by undergraduate students at Michigan State University.
The aim of this project is to discuss the differences between diseases mentioned in the Protestant Bible and diseases mentioned in the Qur’an of the Islamic faith.
Using a combined technique of text mining, literature review, and close reading, the pairing of teams that worked on this project were able to locates and then analyze health, wellness, and disease as they are mentioned in the particular translations chosen for this project.
Parameters/Positioning of this Project
While this project is composed of four overall students it is divided into two halves. Meaning that the project is structured with two people working on the analysis of the Qur’an and Bible respectively. On the behalf of the pair working on the we find it relevant to position ourselves in relation to the work that we are attempting to do. Thus, this project is situated in the context of two non-Muslims interested in the intersection of Islam and health, wellness, and disease. As the fastest growing religion in the world Islam spans across nationalities, race, age, ability, class, and so on. Thus, given our limitations as two non-Muslim and non-Arabic speaking students this research is limited by the interpretations of the Qur’an we encountered and analyzed for this project. Given that there are as many interpretations as there are followers of the faith it would be unjust of us to state that this project interrogates and then posits data that will align with everyone of the religion. Rather, our approach to selecting a translation of the Holy scripture of Islam is set by the parameters of our needing of an English text.
Therefore, the interpretation of the Qur’an we settled upon is one provided by Arthur John Arberry (1905-1969) a British orientalist, scholar, translator, editor, and author who is also famously known for his translation of the Qur’an and can be found here
On the other hand, the two students in charge of researching the Bible grew up with Christian backgrounds. We knew roughly what to expect from our research, but it took us a long time to sift through all of the information presented in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. We also had to decide which branch of Christianity we were going to stick to and which of the English translations we were going use for this project:
We decided to stick to the Protestant Bible (simply because it will be easier for out target to understand) and use the King James Version that can be found here