Introduction to Islamic Manuscript Culture

In May 2019, UCLA hosted a workshop on Islamic manuscripts and manuscript culture sponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and co-sponsored by UCLA’s Islamic Studies Program, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and the California Rare Book School. Participants obtained hands-on experience using the Collections at the Charles E. Young Research Library.

UCLA has recently made the presentations from this workshop available to the public, as well as PDF’s of lecture material, which can be accessed here

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Qiṣṣat al-Sindbād al-baḥrī wa-l-Hindbād al-barrī, UCLA Bound Manuscript Collection, MS 170/46, fol. 10r. Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

Topics included:

Overview: Luke Yarbrough, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (UCLA)

Session 1 – An Introduction to Codicological Studies; Writings Materials; Parchment and Paper

Evyn Kropf, Librarian for Middle East Studies and Religious Studies; Curator of Islamic Manuscripts (University of Michigan)

Session 2: Structures: The Codex and Beyond; Bindings

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

Medical and Scientific Manuscripts at UCLA

Alexandre Roberts, Classics (USC)

Session 3:  Layout / Ruling, Media, and Ornament; Scripts and Hands

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

Visual and Artistic Elements in Islamic Manuscripts at UCLA

Lamia Balafrej, Art History (UCLA)

Session 4: Paratexts, Annotations, Marks of Ownership

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

“Text and performance through the manuscripts of al-Ḥarīrī’s Impostures”

Michael Cooperson, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (UCLA)

Session 5: “Overview of Describing Manuscripts”

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

“Demonstration of Describing a Manuscript”

Evyn Kropf (University of Michigan)

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

Call for Papers: Sharḥ, Tafsīr, and Ḥāshiya, University of Zurich

zurichThe University of Zurich will host Sharḥ, Tafsīr, and Ḥāshiya,  a workshop on the form, function, and context of pre-modern commentary writing in Arabic, on June 15-16, 2020.

About the workshop: The pre-modern Arabic literary landscape is full of commentaries, meta-commentaries, and auto-commentaries of various shapes and sizes, such that commentary-writing indisputably stood as one of the main forms of scholarly textual output over the centuries. Some features of this tradition have received their fair share of attention; others remain yet to be explored. While the importance of, for example, Quranic or philosophical commentary as a source for Muslim intellectual history has been recognised in the last decades, commentaries in most other fields are often mentioned only for the purpose of demonstrating the popularity of the text commented upon. Questions relating to why commentaries were composed in the first place, in what institutional settings, according to what conventions and with what techniques remain generally under-explored.  This workshop will focus on two principal aspects of the study of commentary and commentating practices: (1.) the techniques of commentary-writing; and (2.) its audience and reception. In the first area, we are interested in the interaction and connections between text and commentary.  This could be summarised with the simple question, “how does commentary work?”. In the second, we encourage papers that give consideration to readers and likely readerships of commentaries, either by studying the para-texts of commentaries (e.g. marginalia etc.) or sociologically, by looking at groups of readers, and owners of manuscripts. This could be summarised with the question, “how was commentary used?”.

We invite papers dealing with commentaries written in Arabic any time before roughly the 15th century, belonging to any genre (philosophy, theology, literature, medicine, sciences, etc.). Possible questions to be dealt with may include (but are not limited to):

  • How does a commentary work? Which elements of a text receive what kind of attention, which parts are not commentated upon? What kinds of relationship exist between the text and the commentary?
  • What is considered a good commentary, a bad commentary?
  • Why was it ever important to write a commentary? Are there different kinds of motivation that lead to different kinds of commentary?
  • Who wrote commentaries and when? Is commentary writing something a beginner does or rather the opposite? Do people write different kinds of commentaries at different stages in their careers?
  • Who are the intended readers and audiences?
  • Who really commissioned, read, owned, or taught a commentary? Where were they composed?
  • How are commentaries presented in their manuscripts? How is the link between the base-text and the commentary established, both linguistically and at the level of layout?
  • Why are there so many “auto-commentaries”, i.e. commentaries written by the author of the commented work?

 

Please send a 400-word abstract to james.weaver@uzh.ch and forster@zedat.fu-berlin.de no later than August 31, 2019.  We welcome contributions in English, French or German.

The selected participants will be notified by October 30, 2019.

Accommodation in Zurich will be provided.  We will probably also be able to cover travel costs, but please try to obtain funding for travel from your home institution in the first instance.

Conveners:
Dr. James Weaver, University of Zurich
Prof. Dr. Regula Forster, Freie Universität Berlin/University of Zurich

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

San Diego Program Now Available

Copy of 2019 AM smallThe conference schedule for IQSA’s 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego held in conjunction with the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion is now available online! Click here for details on presenters, panels, sessions, and abstracts.

Remember that you can save on the registration fee by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member HERE. Reserve your spot before rates increase on May 23rd! To become an IQSA member click HERE. For more information on the Annual Meeting, including FAQ’s, visit this page. We hope to see you in San Diego!

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

Interreligious Horizons in Psalms and Psalms Studies

“By my God I can leap over a wall” – Interreligious Horizons in Psalms and Psalms Studies: An International Colloquium in Memory of Erich Zenger (* July 5, 1939 – † April 4, 2010) will be held on July 29-31, 2019 at Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem. This colloquium has been organized by Prof. Dr. Christian Frevel (Department of Catholic Theology, Ruhr-University Bochum) in cooperation with the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). There is sure to be much of interest to IQSA members, including a public lecture by eminent Qur’an scholar Angelika Neuwirth entitled “The Emergence of the Qur’anic Proclamation out of Liturgy,” as well as a guided tour by Professor Neuwirth.

Picture1About the colloquium: There is hardly any need to justify the fact that Jerusalem is a special place of intra- and interreligious encounter of the so-called Abrahamic religions. The variety of confessions, denominations and religions in such a density at the narrowest of spaces is second to none. Adding the historical dimension, which potentiates the diversity of perspectives, the power of Jerusalem has a unique characteristic regarding the interreligious dialog compared to all other religious melting pots of modernity. The multi-religious lived space is characterized by cohabitation and snippets of shared religious experience. Thus, the historical and actual Jerusalem is a promising place for the academic reflection of mutual contact and religious encounter.

The colloquium will take the Psalms and the Psalter as a case study. Throughout history the Psalms represent an important part of the Christian-Jewish spirituality in practice. Alongside the character of David, the prophet, the Psalms are also appreciated in the Qur’an and the Muslim tradition. There is plenty of shared experience through the history although the Psalms are not part of the explicitly shared tradition. However, academic exchange on the interpretation of the Psalms took place in antiquity as well as in the Middle Ages until modern times. Addressing the present and  coming Jerusalem as a lived and believed space, the Psalms are an outstanding study object to explore the prospects and limits of an interreligious dialog starting from the treatment of religious traditions and their reception. Hence, it is time to explore the capability of the Psalms and Psalms studies in the interreligious dialog.

The role of the Psalter with its hymns and laments, its longing for peace, and its hope for the blessing of the world of nations will be explored in this colloquium which brings Jewish, Christian, and Muslim academics in a fruitful exchange. The city of Jerusalem is as well subject matter as the place of venue. “In the Psalms, there sounds an idea […] that the city grants its inhabitants something which is not simply the product of its inhabitants” (Erich Zenger).

The Colloquium deals with four topics:

I. Interreligious horizons in Psalms and Psalms studies

II. Psalms in the Muslim-Christian-Jewish dialog

III. Psalms in Jerusalem – Jerusalem in the Psalms

IV. Contextualizing Psalms in an interfaith dialog

 

If you wish to participate in this conference please feel free to register by sending an e-mail to pforte@dormitio.net.

 

Text accessed and reproduced with the kind permission of Sarah Ulmann.

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

SBL 2019 International Meeting

The Society of Biblical Literature’s 2019 International Meeting will take place from July 1- 5, 2019 in Rome, Italy at The Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Gregorian University.

SBLIM

The SBL International Meeting is held annually outside North America. It provides a unique forum for international scholars who are unable to attend the North American meeting and for all who wish to engage more directly SBL’s growing international membership and scholarship.

Readers of this blog may want to give special attention to the following presentations:

Session 3-30, “Qur’an and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective.”

July 3, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

Saqib Hussain, Oxford University
Q 38 as Re-written Bible

Abbas Ashrafi, Allameh Tabatabai University
The Semantics of the Term “Logos” in the Qur’an and the New Testament

 

Session 4-23: “Qur’an and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective”

July 4, 11 AM – 12:30 PM

Zohar Hadromi-Allouche, Trinity College, Dublin
Q 93 and Psalm 22: A Quranic Response to a Psalmic Question

Georgina L. Jardim, University of Gloucestershire
Psalm 31: Giving Voice to the Qur’an’s Mary and the Bible’s Hagar

Jusuf Salih, University of Dayton
Mary: The Bridge between Muslims and Christians

 

Session 5-5: “Qur’an and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective / Biblical Characters in Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)”

July 5, 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Abdulla Galadari, Khalifa University of Science & Technology
Abraham and the Birds: Comparing Qur’an 2:260, Genesis 15, and Romans 4

Kate Tinson, Cardiff University
Sura al Baqara: The Three Cow Narratives of Verses 51–95 and Their Relationship to the Hebrew Bible and Jewish Exegesis

Ali Aghaei, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Quranic Intertextuality with Jewish-Rabbinic Tradition: The Case of ‘the Cow’ in Q 2:67-74  

 

Session 5-16: “Qur’an and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective”

July 5, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Daniel Bannoura, Bethlehem Bible College
The Promised Land: A Trans-textual Reading of the Qur’an and Hebrew Bible

David Penchansky, University of Saint Thomas (Saint Paul, MN)
By the Lote Tree

Almond Ka Kwan Sin, Vanderbilt University
From Pious to Profane: Changing Interpretations of The Wife of Noah from Early Judeo-Christian to Islamic Literature

 

For a complete program of presentations, including times and locations, see here. To register, visit the SBL website.

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

HBK Symposium on Islamic Art

The 8th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art will take place on November 10-11 at VCUarts in Doha, Qatar.

HBKThe theme of the 2019 conference is The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art. The symposium will explore the relationship between Islamic art and trade routes, migration, and travel. Among other topics, the speakers will discuss the following:

How did exposure to imported materials and ideas transform formerly local artistic traditions? What role did travel, diplomacy, and gift-giving play in crafting seemingly discrete forms and practices? How are the movements of people, shifting markets for labor, and the uneven distribution skills and techniques, bound up with the formation and metamorphosis of styles? How did the shipment of commodities and curiosities from distant places shape and change social, cultural, and religious institutions? What role do the objects created from such interactions have in enhancing cultural understanding or generating enmity and mistrust? And how has the ever-increasing pace of globalization affected such developments?

The program also includes discussions on the Qur’an and Islamic artwork. A complete program can be found here.

 

Conference Co-chairs

Radha Dalal, Assistant Director of Art History and Assistant Professor of Islamic Art, VCUarts Qatar

Sean Roberts, Interim Director of Art History and Associate Professor of Pre-Modern Mediterranean Art, VCUarts Qatar

Jochen Sokoly, Associate Professor of Islamic Art, VCUarts Qatar

 

Registration is now open.

For more information, write to Marisa Brown at mabrown@vcu.edu.

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

The Eighth North American Syriac Symposium

The Eighth North American Syriac Symposium will take place on June 16-19, 2019 at Brown University. Registration is open, and information about travel and lodging can be found on the conference website.

The program for the symposium has been updated. Readers of the IQSA Blog should give special attention to sessions 4C and 5B on Tuesday, June 18. Scheduled papers include:

Session 4C, “Encounters with Islam”

Laura Locke Estes (Saint Louis University), “Etiologies in Syriac Christian Accounts of the Origins of Islam”

Kelli Bryant Gibson (Abilene Christian University), “Interreligious Polemic in the Works of John of Dara”

Michael Payne (Brown University), “East Syrians and the Design Complex in 9th Century Iraq”

Joshua Mugler (Georgetown University and Hill Museum and Manuscript Library), “An Egyptian History of Syriac”

 

Session 5B, “The Translation Movement”

Nestor Kavvadas (University of Siegen), “Non-Arabs Standing Together? The Barmakid Viziers and Syriac and Greek Elites in the Age of the Translation Movement”

George A. Kiraz (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), and Beth Mardutho (The Syriac Institute, Piscataway, NJ), “Are we Overstating or Understating the Role of Syriac in the Abbasid Translation Movement?”

Kevin J. Ball (The Catholic University of America), “The East Syriac Heritage into Arabic: Ibn al-Tayyib’s Commentary on the Gospels”

 

Please direct any questions to nasyriacsymposium@gmail.com for more information.

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.