New Publication: Structural Dividers in the Qur’an, Routledge 2021

IQSA is happy to announce the publication of a new edited volume, Structural Dividers in the Qur’an, edited by Marianna Klar. This volume contains essays by a number of eminent Qur’an scholars from the IQSA community. 

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Publisher’s Overview: This volume showcases a wide range of contemporary approaches to the identification of literary structures within Qur’anic surahs. Recent academic studies of the Qur’an have taken an increasing interest in the concept of the surah as a unity and, with it, the division of complete surahs into consecutive sections or parts.

Part One presents a series of case studies focussing on individual Qur’anic surahs. Nevin Reda analyzes the structure of Sūrat Āl ʿImrān (Q 3), Holger Zellentin looks at competing structures within Sūrat al-ʿAlaq (Q 96), and A.H. Mathias Zahniser provides an exploration of the ring structures that open Sūrat Maryam (Q 19). Part Two then focusses on three discrete aspects of the text. Nora K. Schmid assesses the changing structural function of oaths, Marianna Klar evaluates how rhythm, rhyme, and morphological parallelisms combine in order to produce texture and cohesion, while Salwa El-Awa considers the structural impact of connectives and other discourse markers with specific reference to Sūrat Ṭāhā (Q 20). The final section of the volume juxtaposes contrasting attitudes to the discernment of diachronic seams Devin Stewart examines surah-medial oracular oaths, Muhammad Abdel Haleem questions a range of instances where suggestions of disjointedness have historically been raised, and Nicolai Sinai. explores the presence of redactional layers within Sūrat al-Nisāʾ (Q 4) and Sūrat al-Māʾidah (Q 5).

Bringing a combination of different approaches to Qur’an structure into a single book, written by well-established and emerging voices in Qur’anic studies, the work will be an invaluable resource to academics researching Islam, religious studies, and languages and literatures in general.

The complete table of contents can be accessed here

Readers interested in purchasing a copy of the book can receive a 20% discount by entering the code FLR40 at checkout at the Routledge website. 

About the editor: Marianna Klar is currently Post-Doctoral Researcher at Oxford University, Senior Research Associate at Pembroke College, Oxford, and Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, University of London. Her publications focus on the Qur’an’s structure, its narratives, and its literary context. She has also worked extensively on tales of the prophets within the medieval Islamic historiographical tradition and on Qur’anic exegesis.  

*Information adapted from the publisher’s website. 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 7 no. 1 (2021)

In the first installment of this year’s the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 7 no.1), Andrew O’Connor (St. Norbert College) reviews Jeffrey Einboden’s The Qur’ān And Kerygma: Biblical Receptions of the Muslim Scripture across a Millennium (Sheffield: Equinox, 2019).

qurankerygmaIn the review, O’Connor writes “An enduring interest in scholarship on the Qurʾān is the text’s engagement with biblical and post-biblical traditions. How does the Qurʾān develop or contest biblical characters, motifs, imagery, and diction? How should scholars characterize the relationship between the Bible and the Qurʾān, and precisely what texts or traditions does the Qurʾān engage with in particular? Does the Qurʾān exhibit an awareness of the text of the Bible itself, or does it reflect engagement with oral traditions? These are important questions in our endeavor to understand the genesis of the Qurʾān, but in his recent book Jeffrey Einboden reminds us that these questions address only part of the Qurʾān’s relationship with post-biblical traditions. Yes, the Qurʾān is shaped by earlier lore, but the text has also, in turn, shaped the inheritance of biblical literature…”

Want to read more? For full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), members can log in HERE. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Call for Papers: MESA’s 55th Annual Meeting, October 28-31, 2021

MESAThe Middle East Studies Association of North America invites and encourages submissions for its 55th Annual Meeting to be held in the fall of 2021. Submissions by students are more than welcome. 

MESA is a leading international forum for scholarship, intellectual exchange, and pedagogical innovation. Since its founding in 1966, it has been the hub for academic collaboration within the field of Middle East studies. The meeting features panels and roundtables on a wide variety of topics related to the broader Middle East and North Africa from the 600s until the present. Presentations and discussions are complemented by an exciting film festival of documentaries, features, and shorts related to the region, as well as a comprehensive book exhibit featuring the latest publications in the field, in addition to a variety of other events and opportunities related to academic and professional careers in Middle East studies.

Submissions may be in the form of pre-organized panels, pre-organized roundtables, or individual papers (to be formed into panels by the program committee). 

MESA’s purview is primarily the area encompassing Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, and the countries of the Arab World (and their diasporas) from the seventh century to modern times. Other regions, including Spain, Southeastern Europe, China and the former Soviet Union, also are included for the periods in which their territories were parts of the Middle Eastern empires or were under the influence of Middle Eastern civilization. Comparative work is encouraged.

All submissions must be made through the myMESA electronic submission system (https://mesana.org/mymesa/login.php) which opens on Friday, January 8, 2021 and closes on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Late submissions will not be considered.

Important Links
* Call for Papers & Submission Instructions: https://mesana.org/annual-meeting/call-for-papers

 Membership is a requirement to submit a proposal. To renew your 2021 membership, login to your myMESA account. To join you will need to create an account in myMESA, complete a profile, and pay the annual dues. Contact Sara Palmer at sara@mesana.org with questions about membership. Preregistration payment is not required until May 15, after the program committee decisions are released. 

Please direct questions about submissions to Kat Teghizadeh at kat@mesana.org

Copyright © 2021 International Qur’anic Studies Association, All rights reserved.

Reminder: Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2020-21

rippinAndrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

In honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2015 or later).

The prize winner will receive $250. In addition, the award committee will provide him/her with detailed feedback and guidance enabling him/her to expand the paper into a scholarly article that qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA), subject to peer review.

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2020 Annual Meeting; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to contactus@iqsaweb.org by January 31, 2021. The prize winner will be announced in March, 2021. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 30, 2021. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Happy New Year from IQSA!

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For over seven years the International Qur’anic Studies Association has made fostering Qur’anic scholarship its mission. The Qur’an is an integral part of world literature, and it has shaped and continues to shape the world in which we live.

Despite significant interruptions and changes due to the Covid-19 health crisis, it has still been a fruitful year for the International Qur’anic Studies Association. IQSA has now published four issues of the bilingual, flagship Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA 2016-2019), with volume five to be released in spring 2021. The ISIQ Monograph Series is edited by David S. Powers. ISIQ has released the English translation and updated edition of Michael Cuypers’ A Qurʾānic Apocalypse: A Reading of the Thirty-Three Last Sūrahs of the Qurʾān (2018), and Mun`im Sirry (ed.), New Trends in Qur’anic Studies: Text, Context and Interpretation (2019). Our publishing activity also includes the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), the world’s only exclusive review source on critical Qur’anic Studies. Finally, our multilingual blog and discussion group links a community of scholars and students across the globe.

IQSAZOOM

Finally, IQSA maintains an impressive conference portfolio. These include eleven major international congresses, across the US and internationally, as well as IQSA’s first virtual Annual Meeting. Given ongoing uncertainty as a result of the pandemic, IQSA’s 2021 conference schedule is still being deliberated. The IQSA board is currently coordinating both with SBL and with the Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXIII / Giorgio La Pira library, Palermo, Italy.

IQSA continues to offer six membership tiers:

(1) Student, Contingent Faculty, Global South or Income Below $30,000 $35
(2) Assistant Professor, Junior or Retired Faculty $75
(3) Associate Professor or Midrange Faculty $100
(4) Full Professor, Senior Faculty or Professional Income $100,000+ $125
(5) Lifetime Member $2,000 (one time installment)
(6) Institutional Membership $400

Exceptions: Scholars from the global south and lower income countries unable to pay membership dues for that year have the option of contacting the executive director for a courtesy waiver.

We also warmly welcomes new Lifetime Member, Abdulla Galadari (Khalifa University), and one new institutional member, the University of Tuebingen. IQSA encourages all to renew their membership for 2021 to receive benefits including:

Finally, we offer a warm welcome to our new Executive Director starting 2021, Hythem Sidky. Hythem brings a wealth of energy and expertise to IQSA, which will prove vital as conferences are increasingly convened both virtually and in-person. We are both excited and fortunate to have Hythem’s leadership in the days ahead.

We appreciate your membership!

U.S. taxpayers! Are you still looking to make an end-of-year tax deductible charitable donation? Consider supporting Qur’anic scholarship with a donation to IQSA. We are a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can donate to IQSA online by clicking HERE.

You have all made IQSA what it is today—a community of scholars and friends. Please help our community during its time of need. If each of you makes a humble donation it will go a long way to supporting our publishing and programming activity for the coming year(s).

Finally, please do not forget to follow our BlogTwitter and Facebook accounts, and to join the new private IQSA Discussion Group. As the global health crisis continues to challenge the status quo for the academic community, IQSA is committed to continue building bridges through scholarship to get through the coming year together. We wish you a very Happy Holidays! كل عام وأنتم بخير

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

Looking Back on IQSA 2020

screen-shot-2020-11-28-at-10.37.57-amThe International Qur’anic Studies Association’s Annual Meeting, usually an occasion for scholars to come together for a weekend of research and reunion, took a slightly different form this year, though still offering an opportunity to hear the latest scholarship and see (at least some) familiar faces. Rather than an in-person meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted IQSA (along with the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature) to shift to a virtual format with talks and special events spread out over two weeks.

Despite the changes, the association was still able to hold twelve panels on topics ranging from the Qurʾān’s relationship with the Bible or the Late Antique milieu to manuscript studies and exegetical reflections. Talks were broadcast live around the globe, giving speakers the ability to answer questions from the audience and facilitate communication between participants via the chat and Q&A features. Events that typically take place over light refreshments like the General Reception, Business Meeting, and Graduate Student Luncheon also transitioned to the Zoom platform. Rounding out the program was a Presidential Address from Asma Hilali (which opened the conference on November 30) and a Closing Session on December 10 looking back at the panoply of topics probed, debated, and defended by the forty-one panelists.

IQSAZOOMWhile of course members would prefer to be able to meet together face to face—and despite the undeniable reality of Zoom fatigue—the benefit of the virtual format was in opening up the conference to scholars for whom travel to the traditional forum would be prohibitively expensive. This was reflected in the strong attendance across the board for this year’s talks; despite the travails of scheduling, technology, and different time zones, most panels drew a comparably sized audience as they would have in a more traditional year.

Turning to the future, the IQSA community is hoping for a faraj after the shidda of 2020 and looking forward to future conferences that build off the lessons of this year’s unusual circumstances (not to mention actually seeing each other in the flesh!). The ninth century scribe and poet Abū al-ʿAbbās Ibn Thawābah, anticipating to his freedom from prison, offers us some solace—and hopefully augurs a better 2021 for our modern world as well:

عواقبُ مكروهِ الأمور خيارُ … وأيّامُ سوءٍ لا تدومُ قصارُ
وليس بباقٍ بؤسُها ونعيمُها   … إذا كَرَّ ليلٌ ثمّ كَرَّ نها

Dire events lead to good things.
Hard times are short: they pass.
Pain does not endure, but time
brings joy, and joy will last.

(al-Tanūkhī, al-Faraj baʿd al-shidda, trans. Julia Bray: Stories of Piety and Prayer: Deliverance After Adversity, 217; the lines have also been attributed to al-Shāfiʿī)

On behalf of IQSA, we thank all of our program unit chairs, board and committee members, and participants for their unwavering support that made this unprecedented event possible. Follow us IQSA Blog, Facebook, and Twitter for updates as we transition into the New Year!

By Conor Dube (Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University)

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2020-21

rippinAndrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

In honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2015 or later).

The prize winner will receive $250. In addition, the award committee will provide him/her with detailed feedback and guidance enabling him/her to expand the paper into a scholarly article that qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA), subject to peer review.

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2020 Annual Meeting; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to contactus@iqsaweb.org by January 31, 2021. The prize winner will be announced in March, 2021. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 30, 2021. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

Welcoming New IQSA Lifetime Member: Abdulla Galadari

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It is with great honor that the International Qur’anic Studies Association welcomes a new lifetime member: Abdulla Galadari (Khalifa University of Science & Technology). Abdulla has had different incarnations in the past, before settling in his present one. His previous academic and professional training was fully emerged in engineering, sciences, and mathematics earning Civil Engineering PhD from the University of Colorado. He worked simultaneously in the industry and in academia. Yet, he still delved into the humanities, as well, earning a PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Aberdeen.

Abdulla-Galadari_Abdulla publishes academic books and articles in various venues. He is also the convener of the Qur’an and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective Unit of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is invited to give lectures at various universities around the world, such as Harvard University, the University of Toronto, the University of Notre Dame, and others.

What drives humanity is curiosity, and Abdulla takes that to heart. He is always fascinated by the big questions of life. His main field of inquiry is Qur’anic Studies, especially in relation to its Late Antiquity context with its Biblical, extra-biblical rabbinic engagements, as well as comparative theology and Christology. Because he is well-versed in both science and religion, they allow him to have a unique perspective in understanding religion not only from the historical perspective, but also from the scientific perspective.

Abdulla is also highly engaged with interfaith dialogue continuously participating in the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is a licensed mediator and always uses his skills to mediate between various religions, as well as between science and religion. Reflecting on IQSA in particular, he comments “I was introduced to IQSA in 2012 by its founding co-directors (Gabriel Reynolds and Emran El-Badawi) when it was first formed. IQSA is more than just a learned society. It is family and like any family, its strength stems from its diverse voices. Different approaches to scholarship from a wide spectrum are welcomed and encouraged. This openness is highly commended as it unites many scholars of different backgrounds making one thrilled to be part of this inclusive family.”

Please join us in welcoming IQSA’s seventh lifetime member! Read about membership tiers and benefits at this link.

Content adapted from Khalifa University’s Faculty Bio.

Holiday Break: IQSA Executive Office

Happy Holidays!

winterbreakOn behalf of the International Qur’anic Studies Association, we wish all of our colleagues, friends, and affiliates a safe and pleasant winter holiday. Please note that the Executive Office will be observing administrative recess from Wednesday, December 23rd to Sunday, December 27th. We appreciate your patience as our staff and volunteers take a short respite, and will answer any email inquiries to contactus@iqsaweb.org upon resuming normal operations in January.

Happy Holidays!

-IQSA Executive Office

IQSA Closing Session: Annual Meeting 2020

The first ever Virtual Annual Meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association will come to a close tomorrow, Thursday December 10, after a successful program of special events, addresses, and panels with scholars from around the globe. IQSA thanks its affiliates at the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion, in addition to its programming coordinators and officers, for making this unprecedented event possible during the current global health crisis.

A friendly reminder that IQSA will hold its Closing Session (open to all registered meeting attendees) tomorrow, December 10 from 1-1:30pm EST. The code for this session is P10-206b and login link is available in the desktop and mobile app virtual planner.

This short gathering will provide an opportunity for members to finish the IQSA Annual Meeting with closing remarks and a farewell from the current Executive Director, Emran El-Badawi, and an introduction to the new Executive Director for the coming calendar year. In addition, election results for the 2020 Officer and Director polls will be announced by Chair of the IQSA Board, Holger Zellentin. This session can be accessed via the virtual planner by navigating to Thursday, December 10 on the calendar after logging in using your registration reference number as your user name and your last name as your password.

Please note that in line with IQSA privacy laws, this session will not be recorded. Recordings of select sessions are available online through the Virtual App/Desktop Planner just like a live session through January 31, 2021. Simply navigate to the event in the planner and click “View Recording” after the session has concluded. Please note that the only sessions recorded are those in which the listed participants have granted permission. If the participants have not granted permission, a recording will not be available due to licensing restrictions.

On behalf of IQSA, we thank you for your continued support for the entirety of this unprecedented event and look forward to seeing you virtually tomorrow!

Copyright © 2020 International Qur’anic Studies Association, All rights reserved.