In the preface I gave an outline of the concerns of this study and of the approach which it adopts. This raises several important questions, of two basic types. Firstly, there are objections which would apply in general to any Western critical study of the Quean. These are: (a) that it is inappropriate to study the Quean from outside the perspectives of the Muslim faith-community; (b) that Western study of Oriental texts is set within a history of cultural imperialism; and (c) that much contemporary critical theory suggests that we should study the history of readerresponse to the Qur:lan, rather than the Qur:lan itself. The first part of this chapter responds to these three objections in order to establish the legitimacy of this study in general terms.