Devlops Yasir Suleiman's groundbreaking project on Arabic in the social world.
Starting with the symbolic and cognitive roles of language, Yasir Suleiman investigates how Arabic is involved in ideological and cultural debates in which conflict is a defining feature.
He shows how discussions about the inimitability of the Qur'an in the pre-modern period were, at some deep level, concerned with issues of ethnic election against the background of inter-ethnic strife among Arabs and non-Arabs, mainly Persians.
Further, he shows how discussions of the (un)translatability of the Qur'an were related to this notion of ethnic election.
In this respect, theology and ethnicity emerge as partners in theorising language.Staying within the symbolic role of language, Suleiman investigates the role of paratexts and literary production in disseminating language ideologies and in cultural contestation.
He shows that language symbolism is relevant in ideological debates about hybrid or cross-national literary productio