Survey: IQSA Annual Meeting User Experience


As the 2018 IQSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado (November 16-19) approaches, the International Qur’anic Studies Association seeks feedback from its members and affiliates on last year’s Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. Glance back at the 2017 Program Book, reflect on your experience last November, and take THIS SURVEY!


Your feedback is very important to IQSA and its success as one of the only learned societies dedicated to the critical study of the Qur’an. We look forward to seeing you in November!



© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

Call for Papers: The Eighth North American Syriac Symposium

The Eighth North American Syriac Symposium

Brown University | Providence, RI

June 16-19, 2019

The Eighth North American Syriac Symposium will convene at Brown University on June 16-19, 2019. Held every four years since 1991, the North American Syriac Symposium brings together scholars and students for exchange and discussion on a wide variety of topics related to the language, literature, and cultural history of Syriac Christianity, extending chronologically from the first centuries CE to the present day and geographically from Syriac Christianity’s homeland in the Middle East to South India, China, and the worldwide diaspora.


Image Source:

We invite paper proposals for the 2019 Brown Syriac Symposium on the theme of…

Syriac Worlds: Interactions, Exchanges, Contributions.

Throughout its long history, Syriac Christianity has flourished in the midst of other languages, religions, cultures, and societies. However turbulent its circumstances, Syriac has enabled distinctive articulations and cultural expressions for its speakers. Moreover, not only have there been constant interactions, but Syriac has been an active medium of exchange. Contributions, borrowings, adaptations, and innovations have characterized the literary, material, philological, and cultural productions of Syriac speakers from the start. This Symposium welcomes proposals for scholarly papers on all topics that address Syriac in any of its historical time periods, within this broad theme.

Proposals may be submitted either for individual papers or as part of a proposed panel. Individual presentations must be limited to 20 minutes, plus 5 minutes of discussion time. Please submit contact information for the presenter(s) and an abstract of 250-350 words. Those wishing to propose a panel of 3 or 4 papers (4 papers maximum) on a specific theme must submit a separate abstract for each presentation, a title for the panel, and full contact information for all presenters and the session moderator.

All proposals should be submitted electronically to on or before January 2, 2019. Notification of acceptances of paper and panel proposals will be made in early February, with a view to publishing the program in early March.

In addition to papers and panels, the symposium will feature keynote lectures by:

  • Liv Ingebord Lied, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo
  • Kathleen McVey, Princeton Theological Seminary (emerita)
  • Ellen Muehlberger, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • Michael Penn, Stanford University
  • Columba Stewart, St. John’s University David G. K. Taylor, Oxford University

Additional information for the Symposium can be found at the following website which will be updated regularly: 0/syriac-symposium.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

We look forward to welcoming you to Brown University in the summer of 2019!

Best wishes,

Susan Ashbrook Harvey
on behalf of the local steering committee:


Local Steering Committee:
Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University (Chair)
Sargon Donabed, Roger Williams University
Jae Hee Han, Brown University
Sandra Keating, Providence College
Nancy Khalek, Brown University
Ute Possekel, Harvard Divinity School


*Content courtesy of Susan Ashbrook Harvey (Director, Program in Early Cultures Interim Chair, Dept. of Religious Studies | Brown University)

European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting and Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting July 30 – August 3, 2018 | Helsinki, Finland

The University of Helsinki hosted the European Association of Biblical Studies’ annual meeting, which this year was held together with the Society of Biblical Literature’s international meeting, from July 30 – August 3, 2018.


View from Helsinki Harbour of the Cathedral

Delegates were welcomed to the conference by Outi Lehtipuu, chair of the local organizing committee, John F. Kutsko, SBL’s executive director and Dominika Kurek-Chomycz, EABS’ executive officer, in the historic surroundings of the University’s Great Hall. This was followed by a reception at the City Hall, hosted by the major of Helsinki.


Delegates were treated to a concert in the Rock Church, one of Helsinki’s most popular attractions (Photograph courtesy of SBL)

The conference included a wide range of papers on qur’ānic studies:

Sayed-Hassan Akhlaq (Boston) “The Inspirational Aspect of the Idea of “Tahrif” for Interreligious Dialogue” and “The Biblical and Qur’ānic Image of Moses and Jesus”

George Archer (Iowa State) “Ephrem’s 27thHymn on the Nativity in the Qur’anic Landscape”

Rachel Claire Dryden (Cambridge) “How al-Shayṭān got his Name: The Arabic Recensions of the Narratives from the Syriac Cave of Treasures”

Alyssa Gabbay (North Carolina) “Jesus, Son of Mary: Lineage and Descent in the Bible and the Qur’ān”

Abdulla Galadari (Khalifa University) “The Qur’ān: Authorship between Muhammad and the Divine”

Ghilène Hazem (Paris-Nanterre) “Avoiding Embarrassing Meanings: Ambiguous Qur’ānic Verses, Corrected Scribal Errors and Biblical/Apocryphal Intertexts”

Bert Jacobs (KU Leuven) “Reading the Gospel in a Muslim Context: Dionysius Bar Salibi’s (Re)Interpretation of Jesus’ Difficult Words and Deeds”

Ilkka Lindstedt and Nina Nikki (Helsinki) “Abraham as an Identity Sign in Paul and the Qur’ān”

Jusuf Salih (Dayton) “Mustafa Sabri Efendi’s Views on the Resurrection of Jesus”

Mohammad Ghandehari (Tehran) “Clarifying the Divine Teachings for Thee”: The Qur’ān’s Self-Identified Role in Clarifying the Bible”

Kate Tinson (Cardiff) “Moses and His Leprosy: Hebrew Bible, Rabbinic Texts and the Qur’ān”

The conference provided an important forum for scholars of the Qur’ān to interact with biblical scholars as well as being a key meeting point for the field in 2018, when there is no IQSA international meeting. Many thanks to the local organizing committees and the staff and graduate helpers at the University of Helsinki for such a warm welcome to a beautiful city and for an extremely well-organised conference – kiitos!

EABS’ next Annual Meeting will be held from August 11 – 14, 2019 in Warsaw, Poland.

SBL’s next International Meeting will be held from July 23 – 26, 2019 in Bangalore, India, which will coincide with IQSA’s biannual International Meeting.

The calls for papers for the above will be announced in due course.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

Summer School in Oriental Languages: July 5 – 14, Venice, Italy

The third Summer School in Oriental Languages, organized by the University of Lausanne, took place at Venice International University, on the island of San Sèrvolo, from July 4 – 14. This year, 33 participants from more than a dozen universities in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK and the USA attended courses on a range of Ancient, Late Antique and Modern Oriental Languages such as Arabic, Coptic, Ge’ez, Hebrew, Syriac and Sumerian. A number of minor courses in Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions, Semitic lexicology and non-alphabetic languages were also offered in addition to the main language courses.


Venice International University offers a fanastic location for studying on the Venetian island of San Sèrvolo.

Participants on the summer school were also able to visit the monastery of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, which is based on the island next to San Sèrvolo, and has been home to the Armenian Mekhitarist community since 1717.


Amongst its collection of paintings and objects d’art, the monastery’s library houses a number of manuscripts and books, including some Islamic/qur’ānic ones.


An 8th century Qur’ān fragment in kufic script. Reproduced courtesy of San Lazzaro degli Armeni.

The summer school represents a rare opportunity to study some of the languages that relate to the broader field of qur’ānic/Islamic studies. Thanks to Professor David Hamidovic (Lausanne), for this initiative and also to the administrative coordinator in Lausanne, Salomé Evard and her team. Applications for next year’s summer school will open in Spring of 2019 and IQSA will endeavour to keep you updated.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

The Qur’an: Analysis and Explanation القرآن تحليل وبيان (Arabic Version)


نتناول في الجزء الثاني من هذا الكتاب، تسع عشرة سورة (من السورة العاشرة إلى السورة الخامسة والعشرين)، وهذا ما يغطي تقريباً الثلث الثاني من القرآن. وهذ الجزء متابعة لمشروع يدرس القرآن: لغةً، ومضمونًا، وتاريخًا. والكتاب يحتوي على الأقسام التالية: القراءات (محمد المسيِّح)؛ الناسخ والمنسوخ، والتحليل النقدي (مالك مِسلماني).

تطوير في القراءات

يعكس تطور القراءات وتعددها التعدد في المصاحف، كما يكشف عملية الصراع في قلب السلطة الدينية والسياسية للإسلام من أجل توحيد النص القرآني وإنتاج نص رسمي؛ وبالتالي، فإن القراءات تكتسب أهمية خاصة من حيث كونها الحقل الذي يكشف عدم وجود قرآن واحد، لا بل إن القراءات تكشف أنه على مدى تاريخ الإسلام لم تتمكن السلطات الإسلامية من اعتماد نسخة مرجعية واحدة.

بما أن للقراءات أهمية عالية، كان لزاماً علينا تطوير معالجتها بالكتاب، وذلك بإضافة المنهجية التالية؛

توسيع نطاق المراجع لتشمل المخطوطات.

عندما تكون الانتقائية قائمة على هذين البندين، ويتوثق من أن كل الروايات بُحثت ودُرست علمياً، المواد بشكل موضوعي، وبعيداً عن خطر السقوط في التحييز أو الذاتية.
على مدار صفحات الكتاب سوف يلاحظ القارئ وجود ملاحظات تحمل حكم قيمة في كل أقسام الكتاب، ولعل بعض القراء سيطرح سؤالاً: ألا يبعد أيُّ حكم قيمة الكتابَ عن الموضوعية؟

في الحقيقة، الموضوعية في البحث الاجتماعي لا تعني عدم تقييم أحداث التاريخ. فالتاريخ يقوم به فاعلون بشريون. وحينما ندخل مجال التاريخ البشري، فإن الباحث إذ يحلل التاريخ ويتناوله، فإن عليه أيضاً أن يقيّم الفاعلين به، ولكن بشرط أن يكون التقييم حسب معايير عصر الشخصيات قيد الدَّرس؛ ولهذا، حيثما يقرأ القارئ حكم قيمة في كتابنا، فإن الهدف منه هو إعطاء قيمة الحدث في حينه، فلم نطبق معايير العصر الحديث، بل أي تقييم موجود في الكتاب يعتمد على ما هو موجود في القرن السابع الميلادي، عصر الدعوة المحمدية، فعندما يتناول الباحث الآية 3 من سورة التوبة التي تخيّر المشركين إما قبول الإسلام وإما الحرب، فهل يمكن ألا يعبر عن موقف نقدي بناءً على معايير العصر الذي عاش فيه محمد؟ لا بل عما هو سائد في نفس مدينة محمد ـ مكة، حيث كان المشركون يتقبلون مبدأ تنوع الإيمان ولم تنشأ فيما بينهم حروب على مبدأ ديني. وهل يمكن للباحث أن لا يعلق نقدياً على منح الرجل حق ضرب زوجته (النساء 4: 34)؟ إن أمثال المعايير التي تدخل في صميم العلاقات الإنسانية لا يمكن تناولها بدون حكم قيمة. وأي كتابة تتناول الإنسان والمجتمع يجب أن يكون فيها حكم قيمة على هذا الموقف أو ذاك السلوك، وأي تخل عن تقييم التاريخ، هو لاموضوعية، بل حتي عدم صدق مع الذات والقارئ. الموضوعية تفترض أن نحكم على الفاعلين ضمن عصرهم. والحياد لا يعني السلبية في تفسير الأحداث، أو تجاهل تقييم الحدث التاريخي، أو عدم توصيف البشر الفاعلين بصناعة التاريخ: ديكتاتور، مصلح، معادي للإنسانية، إنساني، وغيرها من التوصيفات.

إن دور الإسلام في الحياة الاجتماعية للمسلمين كبير، ودوره في الميدان الدولي شديد الأهمية والخطور سواء عبر تأثير الدول الإسلامية في مجال السياسة الدولية والوزن الديمغرافي والمالي لها، أو عبر حضور جاليات كبيرة مسلمة في العالم الغربي. إن هذا الحضور للإسلام في العالم المعاصر يجعل كتابنا (بأقسامه ودراساته المختلفة) ذا أهمية كبيرة للقارئ المعني بمعرفة المزيد عن الإسلام، وأيضاً، للقارئ المهتم بفهم العالم المعاصر والسياسة العالمية من خلال معرفة المزيد عن محور الإسلام ـ ألا وهو القرآن.

*Content courtesy of Water Life Publishing.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 4 no. 8 (2018)

In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 4, no.8), Gabriel Said Reynolds (University of Notre Dame) reviews Youssouf T. Sangaré’s Le scellement de la prophétie en Islam: Khatm al-nubuwwa (Paris: Geuthner, 2018).


In his review, Reynolds writes… “Le scellement de la prophétie en Islam is a learned and well-argued study of the qurʾānichapax legomenon khātam al-nabiyyīn (seal of the prophets; Q Aḥzāb 33:40) and more generally of the notion of the cessation of prophecy in Islam…Along the way Youssouf Sangaré illustrates the complications surrounding the notion of the sealing of prophecy and amplifies those voices in Islamic tradition which resist the idea that God went silent with the death of Muḥammad…”

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, 2018. All rights reserved.


Conference and Workshop: The Translation of the Qur’ān in Indonesia – Yogyakarta, Indonesia | July 30 – 31, 2018

Indonesia is not only the most populous Muslim-majority state but also one of the most multilingual ones. This is one of several reasons that make the field of Qur’ān translation in Indonesia highly interesting. Another, is the early and strong presence of reformist trends in the country that led, on the one hand, to sustained daʿwa activities centered on the Qur’ān and, on the other, to doctrinal debates on the permissibility of such activities, that mirrored those in Egypt. Rashīd Riḍā actually issued one of his fatwas on Qur’ān translation in response to a question from Indonesia. In the 1960s, the government of the newly independent Republic of Indonesia emerged as a strong actor in the field of religion, commissioning a national Qur’ān translation that still dominates the market. The government also promoted Bahasa Indonesia as a national language at the expense of the multitude of regional languages spoken by Indonesia’s citizens. In recent years, however, the Ministry of Religion has started to reverse that trend and published Qur’ān translations in more than a dozen regional languages. These translations often compete with existing works by local religious scholars.

Recognising the complexity and relevance of the field of Qur’ān translation in Indonesia, the Department of Islamic Studies at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany, and the School of Graduate Studies at the State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, organised the first conference on this topic. On July 30 and 31, 2018, dozens of scholars and students met in Yogyakarta to discuss the political, social and linguistic dimensions of Indonesian Qur’ān translations. The schedule allowed for plenty of time to discuss the twenty-three papers, including six given by students, that were delivered in two plenary sessions and several panels on politics and media, gender, education, and regional languages.

Some dominant themes emerged during the discussions: First, the dominant role of the authoritative Qur’ān translation published by the Indonesian Government. Owing to its wide distribution, it has been able to influence social and political debates but the scholars who produced it were also forced to react to social change, as is apparent in the evolution of the translation’s approach to gender. Another topic that was discussed a great deal was the question of script. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Arabic script competed with the Latin alphabet in qur’ānic exegesis and Qur’ān translation. For some languages, such as Javanese and Buginese, these systems, in turn, competed with traditional scripts such as Carakan and Lontara. Many papers touched upon this issue but it became apparent during the conference that a conclusive history of the rise and fall of different writing systems in Islamic literature, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries, still remains to be written.

Several papers brought up unusual, little-known and unexpected facts, such as the existence of new prophets in Indonesia who base their message on the Qur’ān and their own translation of it, or the production of rhyming translations in traditional meters in languages such as Sundanese and Acehnese by traditional scholars. The field of qur’ānic translation in practice is clearly larger than is generally assumed, and includes interlinear translation, often considered a pre-modern phenomenon, is, in fact, thriving, both due to its roots in traditional Islamic schools and to a recent upsurge in interest in learning to read the Qur’ān in Arabic, as opposed to relying on stand-alone translations.


Participants at the First Conference and Workshop on the Translation of the Qur’ān in Indonesia

The conference was judged a great success by the participants and will hopefully lead to a publication that will make scholarship on Indonesia, particularly that conducted by Indonesians, more visible within the field of qur’ānic Studies. It will also help develop a theoretical framework for the study of Qur’ān translations that takes multilingual contexts, changes in writing systems, and the politics of translation into account.

© International Qur’ānic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

Job Vacancy: Islamic Studies Associate Prof. | University of Cincinnati


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The University of Cincinnati invites applications by advanced assistant and associate professors to fill the Inayat and Ishrat Malik Professorship in Islamic Studies. The position will begin in the fall of 2019. The search committee welcomes applications from scholars in the field of Islamic Studies, with research and teaching interests in such areas as Anthropology, Comparative Religion, Arabic, Ethics, Gender Studies, History, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Theology.

Minimum Qualifications:

A Ph.D. is required, as well as prior teaching experience and evidence of scholarly excellence.

The successful candidate is expected to engage in research, to teach on the graduate and undergraduate  levels in their area, and to contribute, via interdisciplinary education and as appropriate, to undergraduate certificate programs in such areas as Religious Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Arabic Studies, Asian Studies, Security Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The successful candidate should be thoroughly knowledgeable in the Islamic intellectual tradition and in Qur’anic Studies. Enthusiasm to present Islamic teachings in multiple areas of thought and experience and in a style accessible to diverse student audiences is essential. This effort will include the presentation of at least one public lecture in Islamic Studies each academic year. The candidate should also have a track-record of engagement with the Islamic community, demonstrate a willingness to contribute to the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, and be able to build productive relationships with academic partners across campus and with interfaith and cultural groups in the Cincinnati area.

The tenure-track position will be housed in the department in the College of Arts & Sciences most appropriate to the candidate’s degree. Joint appointments are possible.

The successful candidate will be expected to make service contributions to the mission of that department and commensurate with the position of Professorship in Islamic Studies. The teaching load will accord with that of research-active faculty. The University of Cincinnati is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to diversity. The University is interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching and service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community, and we hope to attract applicants who have experience in promoting the success of students from diverse backgrounds. We encourage women, members of racial/ethnic/gender groups underrepresented in higher education, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

For full consideration, apply online at (Search Requisition #31164). A complete application will include a letter of interest, a CV, an article-length writing sample, and a one-page statement summarizing your contributions or potential contributions to diversity and inclusion as they relate to teaching, research and/or mentoring. Please use the Additional Documents function to submit the required documents. Three letters of reference must be directly submitted by recommenders to




The University of Cincinnati, as a multi-national and culturally diverse university, is committed to providing an inclusive, equitable and diverse place of learning and employment. As part of a complete job application you will be asked to include a Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion statement.

As a UC employee, and an employee of an Ohio public institution, if hired you will not contribute to the federal Social Security system, other than contributions to Medicare. Instead, UC employees have the option to contribute to a state retirement plan (OPERS, STRS) or an alternative retirement plan (ARP).


The University of Cincinnati is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer / M / F / Veteran / Disabled.

*Content courtesy of Dr. Jeff Zalar (University of Cincinnati)