User Feedback: IQSA Video Series

Last week marked the final installment in the IQSA Zoom video series designed to bring scholars and students of the Qur’an together at a time when many are in social isolation. These seminars were part of IQSA’s larger mission to advance “cutting edge, intellectually rigorous, academic research on the Qurʾan” and to be “a bridge between different global communities of Qurʾanic scholarship.”

These free online lectures given by leading scholars in the field were met with an overwhelming positive response, encouraging conversation amongst scholars and expanding IQSA’s community and membership worldwide. You can view recordings of all seven lectures at or on IQSA’s YouTube channel.

As the #IQSAZoom series comes to a close, we want to hear from you regarding your experience and suggestions for future resources as we continue to engage in learning and researching from a distance. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey to share your feedback on IQSA’s engagement with online resources. We look forward to hearing from you!

Corovavirus Health Alert Updates (May 2020)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As communities across the world feel the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic (Covid-19), we are mindful of the lives affected. It is during such extraordinary times of uncertainty that we remind you all, the International Qur’anic Studies Association is a community of scholars and friends. IQSA remains committed to its Mission and Vision, including fostering qur’anic scholarship, and holding regular meetings for scholars of the Qur’an. Ongoing health concerns and travel restrictions continue to pose challenges.

The Board is currently exploring the possibility of hosting online paper presentations alongside a much smaller in person Annual Meeting in Boston in November, 2020. The Board is in close contact with its affiliate, the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and will explore all options to ensure a successful annual conference.

The presentation and discussion of members’ research during the year, accepted through a rigorous review by program units, is a core IQSA member service. We are aware that travel will be difficult or impossible for many members this year. We are committed to providing a venue for scholarly exchange so that every paper accepted has an opportunity for presentation.

Registration for the Annual Meeting is now open through the SBL website, and you can read a statement regarding this from SBL, including the provision that the registration fee is fully refundable.

The IQSA Board will continue inform our members of the path ahead at the earliest possibility.

We recognize that the circumstances could change between now and November, and we will advise membership on changes that may be necessary. If at all possible, please ensure to keep your IQSA membership up to date as well – we need your support in these trying times.

Dr. Asma Hilali, President
Dr. Mehdi Azaiez
Dr. Karen Bauer
Dr. Shari Lowin
Dr. Johanna Pink
Dr. Devin Stewart
Dr. Sarra Tlili
Dr. Holger Zellentin, Chair
Dr. Suleman Dost, Secretary
Dr. Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director, Treasurer

History of Muslim-Christian Dialogue: A five-week intensive summer course


Online Summer Program

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 10.45.30 PM


History of Muslim-Christian Dialogue:  A five-week intensive summer course for 3 credit hours


Dr Ida Glaser (Director, CMCS Houston), Dr Charles Ramsey​, (Baylor University History Faculty) Dr Martin Whittingham (Director, CMCS Oxford)

Specialist lectures from Dr Rana Abu-Mounes (CMCS Oxford), Dr David Coffey (CMCS Houston), Dr David Cook (Rice University, Houston), Dr Abdul-Massih Saadi (Baylor University) and Dr Ghulam Zarquani (Hijaz Muslim College, Houston)


Dates:  6/2/20-7/7/20

This intensive course will introduce students to the long history of Christians and Muslims writing about each other and discussing with each other, using both focused study of primary sources and broader readings and lectures on different historical periods.   The class will meet every morning Monday-Friday 1000-1130 CST.  On most Tuesdays and Fridays, 1030-1130 will offer opportunities for one-on-one and small group tutorials.  Students will be expected to give an average of at least 2 additional hours per day to further private study and preparation.  The course is suitable for graduate students with an academic interest in Muslim-Christian relations, and for final year undergraduate students majoring in history, or in the study of Islam or of Christianity.

If you wish to attend this course, submit this application form to receive further details.  

COST    Full fee: $1,000          Majority world students:  $400 

CMCS Houston has a limited number of full and half scholarships available.  Letters of application should be sent to  by May 18th.  You should include details of interest in and experience of Muslim-Christian relations, and of how attendance at the course is expected to enhance your scholarship and your future relationships.  You should also include a c.v. and contact details for an academic referee and a personal referee.


Post courtesy of Prof. Ida Glazer, Director, CMCS Houston

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

Giving Tuesday 2020: Promoting Scholarship and Building Bridges

Event-Banner-Tuesday-2020Dear Friends of IQSA,

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. IQSA is mindful of its members, partners, and friends during this difficult time, and we want to reach out to those among you who can afford to support IQSA when the organization needs it most at a time when our operational costs remain high despite cutting back on operations themselves. By giving to IQSA as you are able, you are promoting high quality scholarship and building bridges across the globe, which in turn has positive ripple effects on high quality education, journalism, publishing and public engagement.

IQSA is the only non-profit learned society exclusively dedicated to convening regular Qur’an conferences in North America and in Muslim majority countries around the world, as well as to publishing rigorous cutting edge scholarship on the Qur’an. Within seven short years IQSA has convened eleven major conferences. These have included large scale conferences in throughout major US cities, Carthage, Palermo, Tunisia and Jogjakarta, Indonesia, as well as co-sponsored panels in Berlin, Germany and St. Andrews, Scotland. IQSA conferences showcase cutting edge research on manuscripts, historical documents, and high tech digital resources, as well as debate critical issues including methodology, hermeneutics and gender. This is possible because IQSA members include the very best scholars in the field.

The fourth issue of the bilingual Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA) will be released this year, and IQSA’s publications in the Studies in the Qur’ān series are now available from ISD. In addition, IQSA now sponsors free weekly online seminars through Zoom to bring scholars and students of the Qur’an together at a time when many are in social isolation in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame. IQSA members receive free access to JIQSA, the Review of Qur’an Research (RQR), the exclusive member directory (including world renowned Qur’an specialists), and PhD students and recent graduates gain valuable professional development experience. Lifetime and Institutional members carry additional member benefits. IQSA also rewards junior scholars and international academics with the opportunity to learn from colleagues around the world and publish their research. By giving, you help IQSA keep membership dues low and you reward those members of our community who need it most.

It goes without saying that the current political climate has made our task — especially critical scholarship and building bridges — more important than ever. As academics, professionals and philanthropists we have a duty to support the Humanities and Social Sciences at a time when they are under threat. This also means we have the opportunity to bring about a much more intellectual discussion of the Qur’an when the public needs it most.

IQSA was founded by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, and is now funded through the generous support of its members, partners and friends. Please take time this #GivingTuesday to DONATE NOW to further IQSA’s mission across the globe.

Most gratefully,

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director
International Qur’anic Studies Association |

Corovavirus Health Alert

Dear Colleagues,

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is monitoring the situation closely as the Covid-19 Coronavirus continues to impact communities throughout the globe. Our mission remains to foster Qur’anic Studies, bringing about peace and mutual understanding through scholarship. At this time, the health and safety of our members and friends is our highest priority.

We are aware that our members and their institutions have concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus. Most academic institutions have closed temporarily or moved to online instruction. Colleagues with health concerns are encouraged to follow the directives offered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC for the US, or their national equivalent elsewhere) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The restrictions imposed on travel by an increasing number of nations, while unfortunate, are a crucial measure to curb the growth of the virus. That being said travel restrictions do impact the convening of international conferences. Countless spring and summer meetings have been cancelled as a result. We remain in contact with our affiliates, including the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion, with whom our annual meetings are convened. Of immediate concern is the November 20-23, 2020 Annual Meeting to be held in Boston, MA, USA.

Registration does not typically open until mid-April. We hope to gain greater clarity on the situation between now and then. Nevertheless, we suggest that you postpone booking airfare that does not have flexible change policies until registration opens.

We hope the virus is contained soon, and urge everyone to exercise the utmost caution meanwhile. Should you have any questions or concerns please write



Holger Zellentin, Chair

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

Call for Papers: IQSA Annual Meeting 2020


The International Qur’anic Studies Association has opened its call for papers for its Annual Meeting to be held in Boston, Massachusetts from November 2023, 2020. Paper proposals should be submitted through the SBL’s automated online submission system under the corresponding “Affiliates” link by March 11, 2019 (note: IQSA membership is required for proposal submission; see below). Submission links can be found below under the respective program units. If you require further information or experience difficulties with the submission process, please contact the chairs of the program unit to which you would like to apply.

Please note that all proposals must include:

  • Author name and affiliation
  • Paper title
  • 400 word paper abstract (written in English)

Eligibility for proposal submissions is contingent upon the following:

  • Active IQSA membership is required at the time of proposal submission for the IQSA Program, and the membership status of all applicants will be checked prior to acceptance
  • Participants must maintain current IQSA Membership through their participation in the Annual Meeting

Please also note that:

  • To ensure equity and diversity amongst participants, participants should submit only one paper presentation per IQSA Annual Meeting
  • All participants must adhere to IQSA’s Professional Conduct Policy
  • Participants will be required to register for the conference by submitting payment through SBL’s online submission system (users are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the “Super Saver” rates which end mid-May)

Please email with questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you in Boston!

The Annual Meeting includes panels for each of IQSA’s eight program units:

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus
The Societal Qur’an

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition
The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism
The Qur’an: Surah Studies
The Qur’an and Late Antiquity
Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics
Qur’anic Exegesis: Unpublished and Recently Published tafsīr Studies

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus

Program Unit Chairs
Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau
Mohsen Goudarzi

For the 2020 meeting in Boston, the Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus Unit invites papers to an open session on any topic that engages linguistic, literary, or thematic features of the Qur’an.

Societal Qur’an

Program Unit Chairs
Johanna Pink
Thomas Hoffmann

The Societal Qur’an unit invites proposals for papers that investigate the Qur’an in its lived and societal contexts throughout history, from Late Antiquity to contemporary Late Modernity. Proposals are encouraged that engage with sociological, anthropological, and political science theories and methods in their pursuit of the societal and lived Qur’an. Papers might, for instance, discuss topics such as ritual and artistic uses of the Qur’an, practices of teaching the Qur’an, talismanic and medical uses of the Qur’an, the production of manuscript, print, and new media versions of the Qur’an, or the deployment of the Qur’an in terms of social identity and political organization.

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition

Program Unit Chairs
Nora Schmid
Holger Zellentin

The focus of this unit is the Qur’an’s relationship to the Biblical tradition in the broadest sense: the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the various languages of their original composition and later translations (regardless of a particular book’s status of canonization within specific Jewish or Christian groups), as well as the exegetical, homiletic, and narrative traditions of the Bible in written or oral form. For the 2020 meeting in Boston, the Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition unit welcomes proposals that engage any aspect of the relationship between the Bible and the Qur’an.

The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism

Program Unit Chairs
Alba Fedeli
Shady Nasser

The aim of the Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting for the exploration of the various interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are investigated through the prism of its manuscript tradition. This latter term encompasses the field of Qur’an manuscripts per se, but also alludes to such information regarding the history of the text that can be gleaned from the citations, marginal notes, and detailed analysis provided in other branches of the Islamic sciences, for example Qur’an commentaries and the qira’at literature. It is hoped that bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines will serve to enrich and strengthen each of these fields. The Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit seeks to create a forum for the application of textual criticism to the Qur’anic text attested both in physical manuscripts and within the wider Islamic tradition. It also aims to investigate palaeographic, codicological, and art historical features in the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition.

For the 2022 meeting in Boston, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit.

The Qur’an: Surah Studies

Program Unit Chairs
Nevin Reda
Shawkat Toorawa

The Surah Studies Unit invites proposals for individual papers on any aspect of Surat al-An‘am (6, ‘Livestock’), which has attracted little attention in Western scholarship.  One of the seven long ones (al-sab‘ al-tiwal), it is a polythematic Meccan surah of 165 verses. Proposals might explore: material relating to Abraham or to Moses; engagement with Biblical laws or the Decalogue; its devotional uses, especially in Shiite liturgy; its important passages on dietary law; its polemic and critique of pagan rituals; its legal minimalism; rhyme and acoustics; depictions of non-human animals; its architecture and traces of compositional procedures; its affinities with Medinan surahs; or much else besides. The Surah Studies Unit encourages and welcomes diverse methods and approaches. The raison d’etre of the Unit is to bring different perspectives on a given sura into dialogue with one another.

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

Program Unit Chairs
Michael Pregill
Johanne Christiansen

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit invites proposals that utilize various types of material or evidence—be that literary, documentary, or epigraphic—to illuminate the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed and the early Islamic polity emerged. We are especially interested in papers that present and discuss comparative methodologies to contribute to a better understanding of the Qur’an’s place in the cultural, political, social, and religious environment of Late Antiquity.

Additionally, for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Boston, we seek proposals for a themed session considering the state of the field on the Jews in the prophetic milieu and early Islam.

Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics

Program Unit Chairs
Khalil Andani
Karen Bauer

This unit aims to understand and contextualize the methods and hermeneutics applied to the Qur’anic text, both historical and contemporary. The Methodology and Hermeneutics unit addresses questions that might implicitly govern other units, such as: What is Qur’anic Studies, and how does the study of the Qur’an differ from the study of its interpretation? What are the methodological differences between descriptive and normative approaches to the text? How does context (intellectual, social, ethical, historical) affect hermeneutical approaches to the text? The unit welcomes papers addressed to the hermeneutics and methods of particular schools of interpretation or thought, and also on hermeneutics as applied to specific subjects or concepts such as social justice and gender.

This year the Methodology and Hermeneutics unit will feature a pre-arranged panel that surveys Muslim engagements with the Qur’an from the classical and post-classical periods that focus on different visions of the Qur’an as a revelatory discourse and its major themes.

The Unit also invites submissions for a second panel on any aspect of Qur’anic interpretation, hermeneutics, and methodology. Proposals can focus on, among other topics, the following areas:

  • The overlaps and distinctions between tafsīr and ta’wīl in exoteric and esoteric Qur’an commentary literature as they have evolved historically;
  • The distinctive hermeneutical features of Qur’anic exegesis performed by minority Muslim communities including Sufi and Shi‘i (Twelver, Ismaili, Nusayri) commentators;
  • How the Muslim Peripatetics (falasifa), such as Avicenna, have engaged with the Qur’an through Aristotelian and Neoplatonic lenses;
  • The unique hermeneutical approaches of Muslim modernist thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries;
  • Interpretative engagements with the Qur’an from thinkers in South Asia and Southeastern Asia.

Any other topic that deals with Qur’anic hermeneutics is welcome.

Qur’anic Exegesis: Unpublished and Recently Published tafsīr Studies

Program Unit Chair
Shady Nasser

This exploratory panel is dedicated to exploring Qurʾānic exegetical works (tafsīr proper or otherwise) that were recently published or still in manuscript form. The goal of the panel is to shed light on these works of tafsīr that have not got enough scholarly attention, and which fall outside the “familiar” canon of Muslim exegetical works often used in modern scholarship. This panel encourages scholars to consult and study these recent publications in order to enrich our understanding of Qurʾānic exegesis and widen our perspectives with a more holistic and comprehensive view of tafsīr studies that fall outside the traditional sources often used.

For the 2020 annual meeting, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of unpublished and recently published tafsīr works.


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

Call for Papers: Archaeology of Islamic Society [ASOR]

American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) will hold its annual meeting on November 18-21, 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts. This meeting will feature a session entitled “Archaeology of Islamic Society” and will be chaired by Beatrice St. Laurent (Bridgewater State University). The session is open to any research from any period relating to the Archaeology of Islamic Society. The session is open to papers on any period in recent fieldwork, synthetic analyses of multiple field seasons, as well as any area of current archaeological research focused on Islamic Society.

asorThe deadline for the submission of abstracts is February 15, 2020.

Abstracts (max 250 words) must be submitted electronically through ASOR’s Abstracts Online Management System, selecting “Archaeology of Islamic Society” in the session field.

Please find general instructions on individual abstract submission and guidelines on the content and format of abstracts here.

Please note that ASOR Membership is a prerequisite for participation in the ASOR Meeting, as well as registration to the 2020 ASOR Annual Meeting is required for submitting your abstracts. For further information about the conference and registration, please visit the conference website. For any questions, email the session chair, Beatrice St. Laurent (


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