Recent Publications on Qur’an-related Themes

Patricia Crone, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, E. J. Brill

Description:

Patricia Crone’s Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.

Table of contents:

Editor’s preface

Author’s preface

1. How did the Qurʾānic pagans make a living?
2. Quraysh and the Roman army: Making sense of the Meccan leather trade
3. The religion of the Qurʾānic pagans: God and the lesser deities
4. Angels versus humans as messengers of God: The view of the Qurʾānic pagans
5. The Qurʾānic mushrikūn and the resurrection (Part I)
6. The Qurʾānic mushrikūn and the resurrection (Part II)
7. The Book of Watchers in the Qurʾān
8. War
9. Jewish Christianity and the Qurʾān (Part I)
10. Jewish Christianity and the Qurʾān (Part II)
11. Pagan Arabs as God-fearers
12. Problems in sura 53
13. No compulsion in religion: Q. 2:256 in medieval and modern interpretation
14. Islam and religious freedom
15. Tribes without saints

List of Patricia Crone’s publications

Index to volume 1

About the author:

Patricia Crone (1945-2015), Ph.D. (1974), School of Oriental and African Studies, was Professor Emerita at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Her numerous publications include Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (1987); Pre-Industrial Societies (1989); Medieval Islamic Political Thought (2004); and The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran (2012).


Marcus Milwright, The Dome of the Rock and Its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions, Edinburgh University Press

Description:Dome

Located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock was constructed at the end of the seventh century by order of caliph ‘Abd al-Malik. This seminal structure has been much studied but no definitive interpretation yet exists of the meanings conveyed by the Dome at the time of its completion. The recovery of meaning is complicated by the paucity of primary written sources relating to the construction phases of the building and the motivations of its patron. This book concentrates on the most important surviving primary text, the long mosaic inscription running around the interior. Comprising a dedication and date (72/691-92) and material of a religious nature, the mosaic inscription provides vital evidence for the reconstruction of the meanings and functions of the Dome of the Rock. The detailed study of the mosaics helps to place them in the context of Late Antique monumental writing, particularly in Greek. The book makes use of contemporary Islamic coins, graffiti, and other inscribed objects in order to examine the Dome of the Rock in the relation to the ideological concerns of the Umayyad elite during and after the Second Civil War.

Table of contents:

Acknowledgements

Notes for the Reader

Figure Captions

Introduction

Chapter 1. The Setting of the Dome of the Rock
Chapter 2. Initial Description of the Mosaic Inscriptions
Chapter 3. Mosaic Scripts in Late Antiquity
Chapter 4. Visual Sources for the Mosaic Script of the Dome of the Rock
Chapter 5. Focus on Details
Chapter 6. Proposing a Sequence
Chapter 7. Symbolic Dimensions of Inscriptions in Late Antiquity and Early Islam
Chapter 8. The Inscriptions of the Dome of the Rock in their Historical Context

Conclusion

Bibliography.

About the author:

Marcus Milwright is Professor of Art and Archaeology in the Department of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Victoria, B.C., Canada. He is the author of The Fortress of the Raven: Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (2008) and An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology (2010).


Angelika Neuwirth and Michael A. Sells (eds), Qur’anic Studies Today, Routledge

Description:

Qur’anic Studies Today brings together specialists in the field of Islamic studies to provide a range of essays that reflect the depth and breadth of scholarship on the Qur’an.

Combining theoretical and methodological clarity with close readings of qur’anic texts, these contributions provide close analysis of specific passages, themes, and issues within the Qur’an, even as they attend to the disciplinary challenges within the field of qur’anic studies today. Chapters are arranged into three parts, treating specific figures appearing in the Qur’an, analysing particular suras, and finally reflecting on the Qur’an and its ‘others’. They explore the internal dimensions and interior chronology of the Qur’an as text, its possible conversations with biblical and non-biblical traditions in Late Antiquity, and its role as scripture in modern exegesis and recitation. Together, they are indispensable for students and scholars who seek an understanding of the Qur’an founded on the most recent scholarly achievements.

Offering both a reflection of and a reflection on the discipline of qur’anic studies, the strong, scholarly examinations of the Qur’an in this volume provide a valuable contribution to Islamic and qur’anic studies.

Table of contents:

Introduction

  1. Wansbrough, Bultmann, and the Theory of Variant Traditions in the Qurʾān – Devin J. Stewart
  2. Lot’s Wife: Late Antique Paradigms of Sense and the Qurʾān – Nora K. Schmid
  3. The Sign of Jonah: Transformations and Interpretations of the Jonah Story in the Qurʾān – Hannalies Koloska
  4. End of Hope: Sūras 10–15, Despair, and a Way out of Mecca – Walid A. Saleh
  5. The Casting: A Close Hearing of Sūrat TāHā 9-79 – Michael A. Sells
  6. Qurʾānic Studies and Historical-Critical Philology: The Qurʾān’s Staging, Penetrating, and Finally Eclipsing of Biblical Tradition – Angelika Neuwirth
  7. The Sunna of Our Messengers: The Qurʾān’s Paradigm for Messengers and Prophet: A Reading of Sūrat ash-Shuʿarāʾ– Sidney H. Griffith
  8. Textual and Paratextual Meaning in the Recited Qurʾān: An Analysis of a Performance of Sūrat al-Furqān by Sheikh Mishari Rashid Alafasy – Lauren E. Osborne
  9. The Qurʾān’s Theopoetic Manifesto – Ghassan el Masri
  10. The Qurʾān between Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism – Holger M. Zellentin
  11. Reinterpreting the Qurʾānic Criticism of Other Religions – Mun’im Sirry

About the editors:

Michael A. Sells is Barrows Professor of the History and Literature of Islam and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago.

Angelika Neuwirth is Professor Emeritus of Arabic Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin.


Peter Webb, Imagining the Arabs: Arab Identity and the Rise of Islam, Edinburgh University Press

Description:

Who are the Arabs? When did people begin calling themselves Arabs? And what was the Arabs’ role in the rise of Islam? Investigating these core questions about Arab identity and history through close interpretation of pre-Islamic evidence and the extensive Arabic literary corpus in tandem with theories of identity and ethnicity prompts new answers to the riddle of Arab origins and fundamental reinterpretations of early Islamic history.

It is revealed that the time-honoured stereotypes depicting Arabs as ancient Arabian Bedouin are entirely misleading: the essence of Arab identity was in fact devised by Muslims during the first centuries of Islam. Arab identity emerged and evolved as groups imagined new notions of community to suit the radically changing circumstances of life in the early Caliphate. The idea of ‘the Arab’ was a device used by Muslims to articulate their communal identity, to negotiate post-Conquest power relations, and to explain the rise of Islam. Over Islam’s first four centuries, political elites, genealogists, poetry collectors, historians and grammarians all participated in a vibrant process of imagining and re-imagining Arab identity and history, and the sum of their works established a powerful tradition that influences Middle Eastern communities to the present day.

Table of contents:

Acknowledgements

Note on the Text

Introduction

Part 1: The Rise of Arab Communities
1. The Rise of Arab Communities
I. Arabs and pre-Islamic Textual Traditions
II. Arabs in Arabia: ethnogenesis, interpretations and problems
III. An Arabness pretence: pre-Islamic ‘Arab’-cognates reconsidered
2. Pre-Islamic ‘Arabless-ness’: Arabian Identities
I. The Arabic Language: a signpost to Arabness?
II. The search for Arabs in pre-Islamic poetry
III. Contextualising the ‘Arabless’ Poetry: ethnic boundaries in pre-Islamic Arabia
IV. The rise of ‘Arab’ poetry
V. Transition from ‘Maʿadd’ to ‘Arab’: case study of Dhū Qār
VI. Pre-Islamic Arabian identity: conclusions
3. Arabness from the Qur’an to an ethnos
I. ‘Arab’: an ethnonym resurrected?
II. The Qur’an and Arabness
III. Early Islam and the genesis of Arab identity Part Two: The Changing Faces of Arabness in Early Islam
4. Interpreting Arabs: defining their name and constructing their family
I. ‘Arab’ defined
II. Arabness and contested lineage
III. Arab genealogy reconsidered: kinship, gender and identity
IV. The creation of ‘traditional’ Arab genealogy
V. Defining Arabs: conclusions
5. Arabs as a people and Arabness as an idea: 750-900 CE
I. Arabs in the early Abbasid Caliphate (132-193/750-809)
II. Forging an Iraqi ‘Arab Past’
III. al-Jāhiliyya and imagining pre-Islamic Arabs
IV. Arabs and Arabia: changing relationships in the third/ninth century
6. Philologists, ‘Bedouinisation’ and the ‘Archetypal Arab’ after the mid-third/ninth century
I. Philologists and Arabness: changing conceptions of Arabic between the late second/eighth and fourth/tenth centuries
II. The transformation of Arabness into Bedouin-ness
III. Bedouin Arabness and the emergence of a Jāhiliyya archetype
IV. Conclusions Imagining and Reimagining the Arabs: Conclusions

Bibliography

About the author:

Peter Webb is an Arabist specialising in the literatures and cultures of classical Islam and has published a number of scholarly articles and book chapters on Arabic literature and Muslim narratives of pre-Islamic history. He is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-18) at SOAS, University of London, and prior to his academic career, he was a solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP.

Qur’anic Studies, a Political Philology?

neuwirth2

Cover of Koranforschung – eine politische philologie? (Walter de Gruyter, 2014)

In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research 2 no. 5, Mareike Koertner reviews Angelika Neuwirth’s Koranforschung – eine politische Philologie? (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014). In this book Neuwirth presents a concise work of her larger theories of contextualizing the qur’anic text within the intellectual framework of Late Antiquity. She suggests that the study of the reception of biblical materials in the Qurʾan must be analyzed by considering the cultural and religious context in which the Qurʾan emerged and evolved. The qur’anic text heavily interacted with its audiences and is a result of a process of cultural re-negotiation that included elements from the environment in Mecca, the living heirs of the biblical traditions who resided in Medina, and, Muhammad and his community. In answering her question of if the qur’anic studies is a political philology, Neuwirth explains the various meanings of “political.”

Full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR) is available in the members-only area of our IQSA website. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

Twenty Years of Reading the Qur’an as a Literary Text

neuwirthIn the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research 2, no. 1, Süleyman Dost reviews Angelika Neuwirth, Scripture, Poetry, and the Making of a Community: Reading the Qur’an as a Literary Text (Oxford University Press/Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2014), the first thorough collection of Angelika Neuwirth’s scholarship in English. Neuwirth, a leading scholar of Qur’anic studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, treats the Qur’an as a coherent literary corpus and grounds the text in its late antique and biblical setting with a special interest in its emergence through an ever-evolving communication process. The book under review brings together in a single volume fourteen of Neuwirth’s articles that were published in varying contexts over twenty years. Thus the book embodies the leading edges of first-tier Qur’an scholarship and in the process sheds light on pressing issues of the field today.

Full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR) is available in the members-only area of our IQSA website. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2016. All rights reserved.

IQSA 2014 Keynote and Response Papers Now Available!

scholars in library_maqamat haririFollowing the success of the IQSA Annual Meeting in San Diego, there has been high demand for access to the keynote paper of Professor Angelika Neuwirth and the response paper of Professor Andrew Rippin. We are very pleased to make both of these papers now available on our website, **Here**. Together, these papers reflect the vibrancy of various (inter)disciplinary approaches to the text and context of the Qur’an, as well as the value of critical dialogue for the ongoing vitality of Qur’anic studies. Such dialogue is enriched through the active engagement of IQSA members and friends. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter, join our online discussion group, become a member of IQSA, and spread the word among your colleagues, students, and friends! Thanks for your support!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.

A Letter of Thanks to IQSA Members

Dear IQSA members and friends,

I hope this message reaches you well, and that you found our time together in San Diego, both enlightening as well as enjoyable. Like many of you, I had the pleasure of meeting old friends and making new ones. I speak for myself, council and all IQSA officers when I say that we are quite pleased with how the conference went. Our sessions were well attended, and the papers were engaging and thought provoking. Our current membership numbers over 450 from all around the world, and we had the pleasure of having over one hundred of them represented during the Friday sessions, especially the keynote lecture and reception. 50 people attended our first business meeting, at which prof. Farid Esack was unanimously voted president elect for 2015.

We are, furthermore, heartened and impressed by the enthusiasm for IQSA–both within North American and internationally. Participants and audience members came from around the globe, including Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Australia, Europe and North America. This all bodes well for IQSA, not least because this is just our second annual meeting. The task of IQSA’s executive office is now to keep up with this growth and accommodate our members for many future meetings.

I am also happy to share with you that our success in San Diego played a significant role within the larger SBL / AAR conference, for the second year in a row. More on this and several other matters of business soon.

scholars in library_maqamat hariri

Please do not forget to tell your friends, colleagues and peers about us. IQSA members come from an incredibly diverse range of academic backgrounds, including Qur’anic Studies, Islamic Studies, Biblical Studies, Middle East Studies, textual studies, inter-religious studies, hermeneutics, studies on manuscripts or material culture, the hard sciences, and so on. There are numerous ways to stay connected with IQSA throughout the year, namely by:

* Becoming a member (http://membership.iqsaweb.org/Join.aspx)

* Subscribing to our blog (IQSAWEB.ORG)

* Joining the private IQSA Discussion Group

* Liking the “International Qur’anic Studies Association” on Facebook

* Following “@IQSAWEB” on Twitter

* Publishing with us!

   (a) If you have an outstanding article or book length manuscript

        (English, Arabic), please contact JIQSA@iqsaweb.org

See also our call for papers HERE

(https://iqsaweb.wordpress.com/publications/call-for-papers-jiqsa/)

   (b) If you have a minor project you would like to share over our blog

        (any language), please contact vdegifis@wayne.edu

        (As many as one thousand people may read your post in one

         week)

Next, you may anticipate getting full access to the keynote paper by prof. Angelika Neuwirth and response by prof. Andrew Rippin. in December 2014. Soon after the New Year you should also receive news about Membership and Member Benefits for 2015. Current and past papers published by IQSA are available HERE (https://iqsaweb.wordpress.com/publications/papers/) and program books are available HERE (https://iqsaweb.wordpress.com/meetings/).

On behalf of us all, I wish to thank our 2014 acting president Andrew Rippin, 2015 president Reuven Firestone, and congratulate as well as thank our 2015 president elect Farid Esack. Also special thanks go to Nicolai Sinai, Gabriel Reynolds, John Kutsko, Irfana Hussain, Vanessa DeGifis, Ryann Craig, Hakaya Productions and our friends at both SBL and AAR. I very much look forward to our meetings next year in Yogyakarta Indonesia (Aug, 2015) and Atlanta, GA (Nov, 2015).

Finally, thank you all for making IQSA a success!

Sincerely,

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2013. All rights reserved.

NOW ONLINE – Program Book for San Diego, Nov 21-24

Dear Friends,

We are now days away from the second Annual Meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association taking place in San Diego, November 21-24. We are looking forward to another exciting meeting of scholars an friends. For a complete showcase of our events, participants and sponsors we are proud to present the official AM 2014 PROGRAM BOOK (PDF). Viewers are encouraged to further circulate the program book. (Viewers may alternately access the program book by visiting IQSAWEB.ORG >> Meetings >> Program Book AM 2014)

Please do not forget our first Panel, Keynote Lecture and Reception all taking place on Friday, Nov 21 (one day before the official start of AAR or SBL). Our Keynote Lecture is on “Qur’anic Studies and Historical-Critical Philology. The Qur’an’s Staging, Penetrating, and Eclipsing Biblical tradition,” and will be delivered by prof. Angelika Neuwirth, with a Response by IQSA president, prof. Andrew Rippin  at 4:00-5:15 pm in San Diego Convention Center (CC), Room 23 C (Upper level). All Friday events are FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Furthermore, I invite all IQSA members to fulfill their duty as members by attending our first ever Business Meeting, Sunday, Nov 23 at noon in the San Diego Convention Center (CC),  Room 24 C (Upper Level). Finally, if you have not already please visit IQSAWEB.ORG in order to become a Member for 2014, subscribe to our Blog and join the private IQSA Discussion Group.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Standing Committees and our partners we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all friends of IQSA, and we look forward to seeing you this Friday.

Sincerely,

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2013. All rights reserved.

Space Available for the Mentorship Lunch – Reserve Yours Today!

cropped-header22.pngCurrent grad students and new PhDs! There is still space available for the IQSA Mentorship Lunch in San Diego! Scheduled for Saturday 22 November, during the upcoming IQSA Annual Meeting, the Mentorship Lunch is a special opportunity to connect with leading scholars in Qur’anic studies and learn practical tips for finding your place in the field. Fred Donner, Ebrahim Moosa, Angelika Neuwirth, Gabriel Reynolds, and Andrew Rippin look forward to sharing with you their perspectives on issues that matter to emerging professionals, including:

  • networking skills
  • publishing strategies
  • marketing your work in a diverse job market
  • achieving a healthy work-life balance
  • charting your career path for long-term success

Act now to take advantage of this great opportunity! To sign up for the Mentorship Lunch, please email IQSA at contact@iqsaweb.org.

The full program for our Annual Meeting 2014 is available at: https://iqsaweb.wordpress.com/meetings/am2014/

Hope to see you there!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2014. All rights reserved.