Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


COBHUNI Report Summary

Project ID: 647490
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COBHUNI (Contemporary Bioethics and the History of the Unborn in Islam)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The COBHUNI project will for the first time provide a comprehensive investigation of the History of the Unborn in Islam until today in order to diversify our understanding of how pre-natal life is conceptualized in texts of Islamic normativity.
This directly impacts on contemporary bioethics relating to beginning-of life-issues.
At the center will be the analysis of statements in the Qur’an and the prophetic sayings relating to the unborn and the commentary tradition which evolved around them over the last millennium.

The project will study the imaginations of the unborn in Islam diachronically and across regions until today. This thematic case study will address important contemporary challenges in the field of medical and research ethics as well as the way European societies view themselves in a period of significant socio-religious differentiation especially due to the emergence of larger Muslim communities in Europe.
COBHUNI will analyse and show how processes of communication between religious communities, processes of communication in different regions within the Muslim community, and the emergence of modern medicine impacted on the imagination of the unborn.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first period of the project, research tasks, contents and first results have be disseminated through two national radio broadcasts.
Please refer to section 2.3.1 Tasks of the Periodic Financial Report regarding the research results of the different work packages.
During the last year, two articles have been written by two Project team members and submitted to scientific journals. They both have already been accepted by the peer reviewers but as the journals only issue once a year and the volumse 2017 are already complete, the articles will be published only in volume 2018.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

An overview of the material about the unborn in Hadith and the Quran, much of which has not been covered in the literature so far, has been created . In addition, Jewish and Christian texts of late antiquity have been identified partly relying on existing literature but also through extensive research in primary materials especially in Hebrew, but also in Syriac though to a lesser degree. This has brought to light a waste amount of hitherto overlooked materials and has helped to establish new links positioning the Islamic imaginations of the unborn in the context of larger debates of late antiquity.

Pertaning to the digital humanities part of the project we have developed and established a sophisticated data model for the analysis of the commentary literature. In addition we developed and tested workflows which prepare the commentary material for computational linguistic analysis in reliable and stable manner.
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