Psalms of the Muslim Prophet David: Edition, Translation, and Analysis


ACLS Fellowship Program


Religious Studies Program


The Book of Psalms, long associated with King David, was rewritten by several medieval Muslim authors as a compilation of proverbs and parables in which God exhorts the prophet David to repent his sins and pursue a life of ascetic piety. A century ago, these psalms were dismissed as polemical forgeries and consequently were never published. In the present academic and social context, however, they provide an important illustration of the moral and religious landscape shared by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. This project brings these little-known psalms to public attention for the first time through an English translation, while a critical Arabic edition, translation, and analysis of the earliest surviving version makes them accessible to scholars and explores their sources, redaction history, and significance for theories of otherness and textuality.