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Islam, Christianity and the Realms of the MiraculousA Comparative Exploration$
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Ian Richard Netton

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780748699063

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699063.001.0001

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(p.50) 3 Water
Islam, Christianity and the Realms of the Miraculous

Ian Richard Netton

Edinburgh University Press

The scene in this chapter is again set by a Proto-Miracle, this time entitled Water from the Rock. In both the Qur’an and the Old Testament Moses strikes a rock and produces water for his thirsty followers. The next section embraces Lourdes, Shrines and Healing and deals with the apparitions of the Virgin Mary seen by Bernadette Soubirous, the establishment of a large shrine on the site of these apparitions and the many miraculous healings claimed at Lourdes thereafter by those who visit the shrine and bathe in the waters there. This section also surveys three very different novels which deal with Lourdes by the atheist Emile Zola, the Jewish writer Franz Werfel and the contemporary novelist, Michael Arditti. A comparison is then made with the Islamic well and spring of Zamzam in Mecca and the healings associated with that place. This section outlines the story of Hajar (Hagar), Isma‘il and the miraculous appearance of the spring. The chapter once again concludes with an identification of major themes and motifs.

Keywords:   Lourdes, Zamzam, Moses, Hajar (Hagar), Isma‘il, Zola, Werfel, Arditti, Healing

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