Call for Papers: Archaeology of Arabia and the Archaeology of Islamic Society

Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 10.38.56 AM

ASOR is requesting paper proposals for two different conference sessions: the Archaeology of Arabia and the Archaeology of Islamic Societies. 

logo-redesign-J3Conference Description: The ASOR 2021 Call for Papers is open, and this year the Archaeology of Arabia Session is doubling the fun: online (virtual), and in Chicago.

We warmly invite you to present your research with us in the 2021 ASOR Archaeology of Arabia Sessions — one to be held in Chicago, November 17–20, and the other virtual, December 9–12.

That’s right! This year, you may choose to present a paper at the Archaeology of Arabia (1) Chicago session; (2) virtual session; or (3) present the same paper in the Chicago session and in the virtual session.

The pandemic has kept most of us from fieldwork. Fortunately, the Archaeology of Arabia Session welcomes papers that cover all aspects of Arabian archaeology. We encourage you to dust off old projects and data sets, show off some theory or research proposals, review the state of the field or a museum collection, or consider other aspects of your fieldwork or research, such as community outreach, collaborations with local and state government, social media, or new technical or technological trials (and/or tribulations).

The Session promotes scholars in all career stages and encourages collaborations.

Paper abstracts must be submitted by March 15, 2021. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact us (email addresses below) or see the full Archaeology of Arabia CFP online at <bit.ly/ASOR2021>. 

Please see here for more information on how to submit a paper: https://www.asor.org/am/2021/call-for-papers-2021. You can submit an abstract to either session or you can submit the same abstract to both sessions and it will count as a single paper presentation.

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

IQSA 2020 Annual Meeting Survey

Dear friends of IQSA,

As a learned society, IQSA is committed to understanding its members’ opinions and shaping our academic activities in a way that responds appropriately to them and advances our mission. To that end, we are turning to you for input on our meetings. This *short* (15 question) survey asks you to offer insights on our regular annual meetings.

Please complete the survey as soon as possible and in any case before February 1, 2021. The survey is to be filled out by active IQSA members only. If your membership is not active, please renew it ASAP at members.iqsaweb.org.

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE SURVEY

If any of the questions are not applicable to you, please leave them blank. Need help? Email contactus@iqsaweb.org for support.

Thank you for helping to further our organization and its mission by being part of the IQSA community!

Best,
IQSA Executive Office
contactus@iqsaweb.org

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

Qur’anic Studies in Indonesia / Studi Al-Qur’an di Indonesia, Oct 14 – Dec 30

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) and the Asosiasi Ilmu Al-Qur’an dan Tafsir se-Indonesia (AIAT) are happy to announce a new series of talks over Zoom: “Qur’anic Studies in Indonesia.”

Convenors: Johanna Pink and Lien Iffah Naf’atu Fina

Date and Time: October 14 – December 30, 2020. All talks will take place from 8–9pm Western Indonesian Time.

Website: Please go HERE.

NEW REGISTRATION LINKS:

You may join the first two sessions (October 14 and 21) at this link:
https://uni-freiburg.zoom.us/s/84192138019
Meeting ID: 841 9213 8019 Password: 486433059

The remaining sessions from October 28 through December 30 will be accessible through this link:
https://uni-freiburg.zoom.us/s/82700585905
Meeting ID: 827 0058 5905 Password: 478453898

Hope to see you on Zoom!

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

Call for Papers: Pre-Modern Comparative Literary Practice in the Multilingual Islamic World(s)

A virtual conference entitled Pre-Modern Comparative Literary Practice in the Multilingual Islamic World(s) will take place July 12-24, 2021. This conference is co-organized by Huda Fakhreddine (University of Pennsylvania), David Larsen (New York University), and Hany Rashwan (University of Birmingham), and hosted by the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT), University of Oxford.

medsemDescription: The premodern Islamic world was multilingual and multicultural, and by necessity was continually engaged in comparative critical practices. Mapping the interconnected trajectories of these practices, everywhere they arose between Urdu, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and other language traditions of Asia and Africa, is the aim of this conference. We invite scholars to employ methodologies based on direct engagement with primary sources that negotiate the multilingual Islamic world(s) in ways that are overlooked or misunderstood by Comparative Literature.

For most of Islamic intellectual history, the literary analysis of discourse has been carried out in the domain of balāghah, and its Arabic terms—e.g., sariqah (theft, but also intertextuality), muʿāraḍah (rivalry, but also parody), muṭābaqah (correspondence, but also antithesis), muwāzanah (collation, but also comparison) etc.—signify concepts and categories that are different from those of Western criticism. Likewise, the traditions of grammar, lexicography, poetic meter, Quranic exegesis, hadith criticism, jurisprudence, theology, philosophy, and mysticism developed their own Arabophone conceptual resources, which were applied throughout the Islamic world. We invite participants to investigate the ramifications of such terms, and the consequences of their application across the multilingual Arabic world, fruitful and otherwise. Participants are invited to extend Islamicate poetics beyond Islamic traditions, and contemplate how contemporary critical theory might be enriched by comparative methods of the Islamic world. To bridge the frontier dividing modern literary theory from Islamic Studies is another aim of this conference. We mean to challenge the Eurocentrism of modern Comparative Literature as we invite dialogue across the disciplines of comparative rhetoric, poetics, philosophy, and Islamic Studies.

Topics

  • Translation and non-translation in the Islamic world
  • Translinguistic adaptations of genre and form
  • Multilingual scholars and scholarly practice
  • Nationalism and polyglossia
  • Minorities, shibboleths, and Arabolects
  • Multilingual lexicology and exegesis
  • Catachresis and Creative Misreadings
  • Textual practices, media, and reception

**Abstract Guidelines**

Abstracts (max. 400 words) should be sent in a word document, along with a short biography that contains academic affiliations and publications. Please use the IJMES transliteration system. The deadline for all submissions is November 17th, 2020. Please send the abstract to the conference’s email: premulticomparison@gmail.com

Notification of abstract acceptance is issued by December 25th, 2020.

Talks will be allotted 20 minutes for the presentation with 10 minutes for questions and answers on Zoom.

The proceeding will be co-edited by the organizers and published in early 2022 with Oxford University Press.

For more information see: https://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/pre-modern-comparative-literary-practice-multilingual-islamic-worlds

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

Conference Report: Approaching Gog and Magog from Different Perspectives: A Conference on Functional, Inter(con)textual, Structural and Comparative Approaches to Gog and Magog

The second Conference on the apocalyptic figures, Gog and Magog, was held, from September 23 to 25, at the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg. Preceded by a successful academic event about the eschatological idea on February 2018, the even larger conference, organized by Prof. Georges Tamer (Chair of Oriental Philology and Islamic Studies FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg), Dr. Julia Eva Wannenmacher (University Bern) and Dr. Lutz Greisiger (ZfL, Berlin), examined this subject in much more detail, as many participants from various academic disciplines contributed to the success of the conference with their presentations and papers.

1

Gog and Magog consuming humans. Thomas de Kent’s Roman de toute chevalerie, Paris manuscript, 14th century. Wikimedia Commons

The Conference, entitled “POLITICS · HISTORY · ESCHATOLOGY. Functional, Inter(con)textual, Structural and Comparative Approaches to Gog and Magog”, aimed to analyze the possible interpretations, ambiguousness and historical dynamics of this eschatological motive, especially in order to observe the potential creation of enemy stereotypes in most cases associated with the concept of “Othering”. The conference necessitated a historical reconstruction of the figures of Gog and Magog, by analytically studying numerous historical sources, as ancient and mediaeval texts and even illustrations, together with philological examinations, including philosophical and theological insights to this subject, which all together was diligently presented and discussed by the participants. Hence, the conference provided a platform of sharing ideas and perceptions with the result that there is still more to be discovered about this eschatological figures.

Also, the artistic presentation by the artist group “Internil” was a special highlight of the conference. Marina Miller Dessau and Arne Vogelgesang played: The Theatrical Production “Gog/Magog–An Apocalyptic Disinformation Campaign.” This representation, which included excerpts of theatrical performances, music and biographical narrations, clearly emphasized the valuable interaction between scholarship and art.

end2.png

The concluding session at the end of the conference remarked the importance of further researches in the field of Eschatology, particularly in relation to Gog and Magog, since there are many traditional Islamic sources regarding Gog and Magog, who still have to be examined. Thus, many participants therefore called for a third conference. However, before a further conference can be organized, the academic achievement of both conferences has to be published in a collected volume, who will include all contributions of the participants. The editing-process of the volume is currently ongoing.

end1

The conferences and as well as the publication about the eschatological motive of Gog and Magog intend to encourage other scholars and academics to approach the subject of Eschatology, as the concept of End of the World is constantly recurring in the historical narrative of mankind.

The following presentations comprehensively touch upon various religious, historical, social and linguistic issues revolving around “Gog and Magog” in different languages.

 

Presentation List

Agustí Alemany Vilamajó (UAB Barcelona)
The Gog and Magog Motif as a Source for the History of Eurasian Steppe Nomads 

Christian Zolles (Universität Wien)
The Devil Within. Gog and Magog in Modern Mass Discourse

Mark Dickens (University of Alberta)
Gog & Magog in Syriac Literature

Sasson Chahanovich (Harvard University)
Gog and Magog in the Early Modern Ottoman World 

Anna Ayşe Akasoy (CUNY)
Gog and Magog in Islamic and Graeco-Roman Geography and Eschatology

Ian Richard Netton (University of Exeter)
Towards a Comparative and Literary Anthropology of Force and Chaos: Gog and Magog with Particular Reference to Kitab al-Fitan by Nuʿaym b. Hammad al-Marwazi (d.229/844) and The Tower of London by William Harrison Ainsworth (1805–1882)

Felicitas Schmieder (Fernuni Hagen)
Gog and Magog as Geographical Realities

Majid Daneshgar (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)
Gog and Magog in the Malay-Indonesian Quranic Commentaries

Ramy Abdin (FAU)
The Correlation Between Gog and Magog and the Antichrist in Imran Hosein’s Concept of Islamic Eschatology

Helen Spurling (University of Southampton)
The Reception of Gog and Magog in Jewish Apocalyptic Traditions at the Emergence of Islam

Grit Schorch (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)
Edom, Gog and Magog, Leviathan and Behemoth: Apocalyptic and Other Enemy Myths as Evocations of War

James T. Palmer (University of St. Andrews)
An Undefined Evil: Gog and Magog Between Exegesis and Prophecy in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries CE 

Zeinab Mirza, Nader el-Bizri (American University of Beirut)
Mobilizing the Devotional Ritual Against Tyranny: Nabatieh’s ʿĀshūrāʾ in South Lebanon During the Israeli Occupation

Wolfram Brandes (Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte)
Gog & Magog in Photios (820–891) and Other Byzantine Authors

Kristin Skottki (Universität Bayreuth)
No Saracen Gog/Magog? Reviewing the Evidence of Latin Crusade Chronicles 

Todd Lawson (University of Toronto)
Evil in Shaykhi, Babi & Bahai Texts: Gog, Magog and the Perfection of Humanity

Dustin N. Atlas (University of Dayton, Ohio)
Twins Through Sleep: Gog and Magog, Zoroastrian Liturgy, and the Need for Myth in Martin Buber’s Understanding of Evil

Charles Häberl (AMESALL – Rutgers University)
The Enclosed Peoples of Mandaean Lore

Gadi Sagiv (The Open University of Israel)
Gog and Magog in Hasidism: Spiritualizing and Re-Mythologizing the Evil that Precedes Redemption

Pavlína Cermanová (CMS, Centre for Medieval Studies)
The Figure of Gog and Magog in Medieval Heretical Discourse

Yaakov Ariel (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Coming Together and Staying Apart: Gog and Magog in Contemporary Christian and Jewish Messianic Scenarios and their Cultural and Political Roles 

Matthias Riedl (Central European University, Budapest)
Gog and Magog – Corpus Antichristi – Synagogue of Satan: Symbolizations of Collective Evil in the Later Middle Ages and Early Modernity

Tiborc Fazekas (Universität Hamburg)
“I Am the Son of Gog and Magog” – Assuming the Role of Destroyer and Renovator in a Programmatic Poem by Endre Ady (1906)

Jörn Happel (Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel)
Asian Horsemen, Bolshevik Monsters: Europe’s Primal Fear of the East

 

Many thanks to Ramy Abdin of Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg for the following conference report.

 

 

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

Conference: 3rd Annual Edinburgh International Graduate Conference in Late Antique, Islamic, and Byzantine Studies

The 3rd Annual Edinburgh International Graduate Conference in Late Antique, Islamic, and Byzantine Studies will be held at the University of Edinburgh on November 22-23, 2019.

Picture1

The theme for this year’s conference is Historical inertia: Continuity in the face of change 500-1500 CE: 

Historical discourse has long concerned itself with patterns of change and discontinuity to demonstrate and validate models of periodisation and the compartmentalisation of the wider historical field. Building on these themes, this conference has chosen to focus on the opposing view by concentrating on inertia – how history, material culture, ideas and communities can be seen to maintain a stayed course or deviate if a significant force is exerted upon it. Inertia, a concept that has yet to be applied to mainstream Late Antique studies, introduces perspectives and frameworks that permit new approaches to traditional processes.

This conference will feature numerous papers on qur’anic studies and medieval Islamic history. The complete program can be found here. Additionally, there will be keynote lectures from Averil Cameron and Jack Tannous (Princeton University).

For more information, including registration instructions, visit the conference website.

 

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

 

2019 Annual Meeting Registration NOW OPEN!

IQSA Annual Meeting 2019

Registration is NOW OPEN for the IQSA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings in San Diego, California from November 22-25, 2019. You can save on the forthcoming 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. We hope you’ll join us and meet us in San Diego!


Register for the Annual Meeting: Step by Step Instructions

ANNUAL MEETING FAQs

Q: What are the dates of IQSA’s Annual Meeting?
A:
The IQSA Annual Meeting begins and ends November 22-25, 2019 one day before the regular SBL/AAR Meeting.

Q: How do I register for the Annual Meeting as an IQSA member?
A:
Register as an AFFILIATE MEMBER on SBL’s Meetings and Events page. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the Affiliate link and choose “International Qur’anic Studies Association” in the drop-down menu.

Q: Do I have to be an IQSA member to register for the Annual Meeting?
A: 
YES – current IQSA membership is required and verified by staff upon registration. However, SBL/AAR membership is not required to attend the IQSA Annual Meeting. You can renew your IQSA membership HERE.

Q: I already registered for the Annual Meeting as an SBL/AAR member. Do I have to register again as an affiliate to attend IQSA events?
A:
No – duplicate registration is not required to attend IQSA events if one has already registered as an SBL/AAR member.

Q: Where can I find a schedule of events for the Annual Meeting?
A: 
IQSA  and SBL/AAR’s Program Book will be distributed in print and online as the meeting date draws closer. Members can chose to access the Program Book via mobile app, online, or in print while completing the registration process.

Q: Where can I find information about Housing and Travel Accommodations?
A: Visit SBL’s Meetings and Events page and/or choose your hotel during your online registration.

Q: Does IQSA provide funding or reimbursement for its members to attend the meeting?
A: 
At this time, IQSA does not have the resources to provide financial assistance for housing and travel at the Annual Meeting. However, IQSA encourages its members to seek financial aid through institutional grants and other funding.

Q: I will be traveling internationally. How do I obtain a non-immigrant Visa Letter?
A: Check the required box during online registration (see below) and email contact@iqsaweb.org to arrange for a Visa Letter.

visa

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

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus
The Qur’an: Surah Studies
Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics
The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism
The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition
The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

IQSA will also run two additional panels this year:

The European Qur’an: The Islamic Holy Scripture in European Culture and Religion 1142–1850
The Societal Qur’an

 

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

Registration NOW OPEN! IQSA International Qur’an Conference 2019

Steeple and minaret2

International Qur’an Conference
Tangier Global Forum
University of New England
Tangier, Morocco
(25-26 July, 2019)

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is happy to open registration for its third biennial conference from July 25-26, 2019, hosted by the Tangier Global Forum of the University of New England, Tangier, Morocco. The main theme of the conference is Reading the Qur’an in the Context of Empire. 

REGISTRATION
Conference presenters and observers should register online. There is no registration fee for conference presenters or observers.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

HOUSING
Option 1:
Limited on-campus housing is available at the University of New England’s campus dormitory.

  • Rooms are double occupancy
  • $60 USD per night
  • Preference will go to accepted presenters
  • Apply by completing the online registration form

Option 2: Attendees are welcome to reserve a room in the Grand Hotel Villa De France Tangier (no group rate or discount code). Click here to book a room.

TRANSPORTATION
For those staying at the Grand Hotel Villa De France Tangier, it is approximately a 25 to 30 minutes walk to the UNE campus. Petit taxis are available for $1.00.

MEALS
The conference venue at UNE will provide meals at the following rates:

  • Breakfast 30 dirhams ($3.32 USD)
  • Lunch 60 dirhams ($6.64 USD)
  • Dinner 60 dirhams ($6.64 USD)
  • Snacks, a coffee break, and dinner are free for conference participants on July 25, 2019

FUNDING
Applications for funding are no longer being accepted. IQSA encourages participants to take advantage of institutional funding provided by employers and/or academic programs.

The conference will take place in English, Arabic and French. Read more about the program on the 2019 International Meeting webpage.

Should you have questions about the conference, please contact IQSA conference director, Majid Daneshgar (majid.daneshgar@frias.uni-freiburg.de) or the IQSA administration (contact@iqsaweb.org).

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

Tenth SOAS Qur’ān Conference, November 9 – 10, 2018, London

Around a hundred delegates met in London from November 9 – 10, 2018 for the Tenth SOAS Qur’ān Conference. The conference theme was “Text, Translation and Culture” and featured presentations in both English and Arabic. SOAS LIBRARY, BLOOMSBURY

The conference began with an opening address by Professor Abdel Haleem, who first established the conference. The first morning featured two panels on qur’ānic rhetoric, which included papers by Adam Flowers (Chicago), on The qur’ānic Exhortation, Salwa El-Awa (Swansea), on Discourse Markers as Indicators of Text and Structure in the Multiple-topic qur’ānic Suras: A Meta-analysis of Q. 2, Thomas Hoffmann (Copenhagen), on A Qur’anic Self-Deconstruction? Q. 20:113 and Mamoon Abdelhalim Wagih (Fayoum University), on ‘أثر النحو العربي في خدمة النص القرآني’ (The Role of Arabic Grammar in Understanding and Interpreting the qur’ānic Text). 

After coffee, Rachel Claire Dryden (Cambridge) discussed The Typology of Rain and Other Weather-Related Phenomena in the Qur’ān, Johanne Louise Christiansen (Copenhagen) examined How to be Deliberately Vague: On the Rhetorical Strategy of Vagueness in the Qurʾān and Ulrika Mårtensson (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) analysed Between mustaqīm and mukhliṣ: ‘Covenant’ as a Linguistic and Rhetorical Analysis of the Canon’s Composition and Key Concepts. The first morning’s session concluded with a presentation by Professor Haleem himself on Sūrat al-Mulk, Q 67: Reading the Qur’an According to its balāgha: ‘ḥaqqa tilāwatihi’. 

In the afternoon, a panel on qur’ānic reception featured Mirina Paananen (Oxford), who discussed Taghannī or not taghannī? Ibn al-Jazarī on the Musical Recitation of the Qurʾān, Suleyman Dost(Brandeis), who examined The Rise and Fall of a Genre: The maṣāḥif Books in Context. Under the broader theme of qur’ānic theology, Livnat Holtzman (Bar-Ilan University), presented on The Rhetorical Aspect of āyāt al-ṣifāṭ: The Ashʿarite Prohibition of Gestures and the Ultra-Traditionalistic Response (12th–14th Centuries), Oliver Leaman (Kentucky), asked Is the Ethics of the Qur’an Utilitarian? and Ramon Harvey (Ebrahim College), discussed Al-Māturīdī on Abrogation of the sharīʿa in the Qur’an and Previous Scriptures. 

Day two of the conference continued with presentations on contemporary approaches to the Qur’ān by Todd Lawson (Toronto), who spoke about The Qur’an and the Shaykhiyya, Walid Saleh (Toronto), who discussed The Encyclopaedia of Tradition-based Qur’an Commentary and Sohaib Saeed (Glasgow), who examined Qurʾān Citations in Qurʾān Exegeses: A Case Study of Sūrat al-Anʿām (Q. 6) and a panel on tafsir, which included presentations by Ahmad Al-Dubayan (ICCUK), ‘نقد منهج المعالجة اللغوية لدى محمد شحرور’ (Linguistic Methodology of Muhammad Shahrur), and Ahmed Bouaoud (Université Abdelmalek Essaadi), ‘القرآن والتاريخ بحث في أطروحة أنجليكا نويفيرت حول تاريخ النص القرآني’ (Qur’ān and History: Angelika Neuwirth’s Thesis on the History of the Qur’anic Text). 

The afternoon sessions focused on different aspects of qur’ānic translation: Nàdia Petrus Pons (Autonomous University of Barcelona) discussed the Transmission and Survival of Mark of Toledo’s Latin Qur’an translation, Nora S Eggen (Oslo), analysed Modality in translations of the Qur’ān and Shawkat M. Toorawa (Yale), examined Ḥaqqa tilāwatihiDoing the Qur’an justice in English translation. 

The theme of qur’ānic translation continued with presentations on The Qur’ān in Non-Western Languages such as that by Johanna Pink (Freiburg), on Joseph and the Tiger, Mary and the Angel: What we can learn from Javanese Qur’an Translation, M. Brett Wilson (CEU/Macalester College), on The Poet of Islam’s Translation of the Qur’an and Philipp Bruckmayr (Vienna), which was entitled From Manuscripts to Printed Editions: The Translation of the Qurʼān into Indochinese Languages. 

The conference concluded with some closing remarks by Professor Abdel Haleem. Many thanks to the SOAS Qur’ān conference team for organizing such a successful conference. 

 

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

 

Details from Denver: 2018 Annual Meeting Conference Report

iqsalogo

The sixth Annual Meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association was held in Denver this year from November 16-19, concurrent with the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature. This year once again provided an opportunity for scholars from across the academic world to come together to exchange new ideas and continue ongoing conversations on the Qur’an, the milieu from which it emerged, and the exegetical discussions which it inspired.

Emran_Gab_RecepThe first panel of the weekend, chaired by Alba Fedeli, focused on the topics of accessibility and interpretation as they relate to Qur’anic manuscripts. The early history of the Qur’an, as indicated by manuscript evidence, was a recurring theme, including the import of the Sana‘a palimpsest, the role of orthography, and interlinguistic connections. Participants also considered the role of digital technology in opening up new paths for manuscript studies and the relevance of these tools for the Qur’an in particular. The day was capped off by a lively general reception for IQSA members.

reception

Saturday was the first full day of talks, beginning with a panel on linguistic and literary perspectives on the Qur’anic text. The ambit of this discussion ranged from specific words (Shawkat Toorawa on awtād) to broader concepts (Saqib Hussain on ḥikma) to linguistic context (Marijn van Putten on the lack of Syriac borrowing in the Qur’an) to theoretical frameworks (Joseph Lowry on a ‘nomochronic’ assessment of the Qur’an’s normativity). After a luncheon which brought together senior scholars and graduate students, the afternoon featured an important and lively panel discussion on the topic of bias, representation, and the importance of diverse perspectives in Qur’anic studies. The panel highlighted both the work already undertaken to widen the scope of the field and significant improvements that have yet to be made. The day closed with a panel on manuscripts and commentaries, which featured Iskandar Bcheiry’s consideration of the Arabic and Syriac manuscript resources of the St. Lazarus monastery in Venice, along with Hacı Osman Gündüz discussing the concept of ṣarfa in al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar’s poetry and Sheza Alqera considering the importance of oral context in an understanding of manuscripts.

Eleonore_PalimspsestThe third day of the conference was again full of panels, kicking off with a morning session on ways of contextualizing the Qur’an. Sarah Schwarz and Tommaso Tesei focused on the relevance of a Jewish background, respectively discussing Solomonic power and 4 Ezra 7. David Powers revisited the question of Zayd, Zaynab, and Muhammad, and how to understand the historicity of the traditional story combining those three figures. Finally, Johanne Louise Christiansen presented a summary of Roy Rappaport’s contributions to system theory and considered its relevance to studying the Qur’an. The theme of the Qur’an’s place within the Biblical tradition continued in the afternoon, with talks focusing on Hārūt and Mārūt from a comparative perspective (Rachel Claire Dryden), the polemical understanding of accusations of God’s poverty in Q. 3:181 (Shari L. Lowen), the theme of prophetic protection and Satanic utterances (Holger Zellentin), and the connection of Joseph to the rhetoric of clothing in the Qur’an (Sarra Tlili). The evening session completed the day’s emphasis on placing the Qur’an in a Late Antique world of literary and religious influences. Stephen Burge considered the interreligious rhetoric of fasting, while David Vishanoff discussed the tradition of an Islamic psalter, and Stuart Langley compared Q. 7:179, Isaiah 6:10, and Matthew 13:15.

Toorawa_Pharaoh

Monday, the last day of talks, brought together themes ranging from hermeneutics to genre theory to the Arabian context of the rise of Islam. In the morning set of presentations, Gabriel Said Reynolds offered thoughts on the problem of Qur’anic insertions, followed by Thomas Hoffman reflecting on a materialist understanding of the Qur’an’s iconicity and Johanna Pink considering the evolution of the term ṣabr between medieval and modern exegesis. The afternoon featured IQSA’s annual session on Sūra Studies, which this year was dedicated to the group of sūras known collectively as the Musabbiḥāt (Q. 57, 59, 61, 62, and 64). Both Adam Flowers and Karim Samji focused on genre as a method of understanding this grouping, while Andrew J. O’Connor spoke about the function of prophetic authority within them. Finally, the weekend concluded with another set of talks looking at the Qur’an through the broad lens of Late Antiquity. Four discussants considered a wide-ranging set of topics, including the Greco-Roman image of Arabia (Karen L. Carducci), the topos of Trinitarian deities between Arabian religion and the Qur’an (Emran El-Badawi), the long history of camel sacrifice (Brannon Wheeler), and the attestations of earliest Islam extant in Anastasius of Sinai (Stephen J. Shoemaker).

collageiqsa

This year’s Annual Meeting was one of IQSA’s most outstanding yet, packed with excellent presentations across the board and consistently high attendance. It was exhilarating as always to see the flourishing of new perspectives within the world of Qur’anic scholarship as well as the always impressive level of academic rigor exemplified by all of this year’s speakers. We look forward to moving from the shadow of the Rocky Mountains this year to the sunny shoresof the Pacific for next year’s meeting, and hope to see faces both familiar and new there!

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

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