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


   (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


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!


Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

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

Call for Papers Highlight—Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics

This week, IQSA concludes its series of blog highlights on featured program units for the upcoming Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, with a focus on “Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics.” For detailed information on all of the units accepting submissions, please visit our web page here.

This unit, chaired by Karen Bauer and Farid Esack, aims to understand and contextualize the methods 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. For the 2014 meeting in San Diego, the Methodology and Hermeneutics unit will host two panels:

  1. The first panel focuses on the hermeneutics or methods applied to the Qur’an by particular groups of interpreters or schools of thought. A grouping could be theological, sectarian, or geographical, but need not be limited by such boundaries.
  2. The second invites papers in any aspect of methods and hermeneutics applied to the Qur’an.

Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

Important Notes about Proposing a Paper for IQSA 2014

* IQSA is an independent learned society, although our meeting overlaps with those of SBL and AAR.  In order to attend IQSA 2014, membership in IQSA and registration for the SBL/AAR conference will be necessary. (The first day of the IQSA conference, however, will be open to the general public).

* All interested students and scholars may submit a proposal through SBL’s website, here. Scroll down to the “Affiliate” section, then click on the chosen IQSA program unit name. [Look in particular for the “(IQSA)” indication at the end of the unit titles]. Instructions for those with and without SBL membership can be found by clicking through to these individual program unit pages.

* Details on low-cost membership in IQSA will be published on the IQSA blog in Spring 2014. Make sure you are subscribed!

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

Our Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD (Full Schedule and Registration Details)

By Emran El-Badawi and Gabriel Reynolds (With special thanks to Charles Haws)

The International Qur’anic Studies Association is happy to announce the full schedule of its first annual meeting, taking place in Baltimore, MD from November 22-24, 2013. You may recall our earlier announcement informing you about our exciting program for the first day. See the schedule below, but note that room assignments are still pending.



Given that this is IQSA’s inaugural meeting as well as the heightened public interest, the directors and steering committee have decided to make registration for to all IQSA panels on Friday Nov 22 (including the keynote lecture and response) free and open to the public. Those interested are further encouraged to attend IQSA panels on Saturday Nov 23 and Sunday Nov 24 by paying the registration fee of the Society of Biblical Literature – or –  American Academy of Religion. Finally, you are encouraged to subscribe to our blog in order to receive weekly news updates about our meetings, as well as informed posts on Qur’anic Studies today.

On behalf of the co-directors, steering committee and partners we thank you for your enthusiasm and support for IQSA.We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

International Qur’anic Studies Association
1:30 PM to 4 PM
Room: Baltimore Convention Center – 345

Qur’an Manuscripts: Text, Object and Usage

Gabriel Reynolds, University of Notre Dame, Presiding

Keith Small, London School of Theology
Gems of the Bodleian: Qur’an Manuscripts at Oxford University (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Simon Rettig, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Codicology versus History of Art? Rethinking the Visual Study of Qur’an Manuscripts (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Alasdair Watson, Bodleian Libraries
The King’s Mushafs: A Glimpse at Some of the Qur’ans from Tipu Sultan’s Royal Library (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Asma Hilali, Institute of Ismaili Studies
The Manuscript 27.1 DAM: Sacred Words and Words about the Sacred (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Break (30 min)

International Qur’anic Studies Association


4:30 PM to 5:45 PM
Room: Baltimore Convention Center – 345

Keynote Lecture: Implausibility and Probability in Studies of Qur’anic Origins

Emran El-Badawi, University of Houston, Introduction (10 min)

Aziz Al-Azmeh, Central European University, Budapest, Panelist (45 min)

Jane McAuliffe, Bryn Mawr University, Respondent (20 min)

International Qur’anic Studies Association

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel – Paca

Theme: Approaches and Theories on the Translation of the Qur’an

Helen Blatherwick, University of London, Presiding

Maria Dakake, George Mason University
The Original Soul and the “Womb” of Kinship: The Feminine and the Universal in Qur’an 4:1 (25 min)

A. J. Droge, Translator
Traduttore, Traditore? Revisiting Mr. Nabokov (25 min)

Devin J. Stewart, Emory University
The Translation of Divine Epithets in the Qur’an (25 min)

Omar Tarazi, Independent Scholar
Translating the Qur’an’s Aesthetic and Intellectual Features into Plain English (25 min)

Shawkat M. Toorawa, Cornell University
Translation and the Sad Fate of the Qur’an’s Most (?) Important Feature (25 min)

Discussion (25 min)

International Qur’anic Studies Association
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor – Stadium Ballroom II

Theme: Qu’ran and Gender

Farid Esack, University of Johannesburg, Presiding

Juliane Hammer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Equity, Equality, or Hierarchy: American Tafsir on Gender Roles in Marriage (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Kecia Ali, Boston University
Destabilizing Gender, Reproducing Maternity: Qur’anic Narratives of Mary (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Marion Holmes Katz, New York University
The Ethical Body and The Gendered Body In The Qur’an (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Hamza M. Zafer, University of Washington
The Sons (and Daughters) of Israel: Gender In Qur’anic Negotiations of Jewish Lineage (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Aziz al-Azmeh, Central European University, Respondent (10 min)

Discussion (20 min)

International Qur’anic Studies Association
Joint Session With: International Qur’anic Studies Association, Qur’an and Biblical Literature
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor – Stadium Ballroom II

Michael Pregill, Elon University, Presiding

Michael Graves, Wheaton College (Illinois)
Kernel Texts and Prophetic Logia: Biblical and Quranic Scholarship in Dialogue (20 min)

David Penchansky, University of Saint Thomas (Saint Paul, MN)
Daughters of Deity in the Bible and the Quran (20 min)

Abdulla Galadari, University of Aberdeen
Begotten of God: A Quranic Interpretation of the Logos (20 min)

David Hollenberg, University of Oregon
Ships of Faith, Islands of Salvation: Stories of the Prophets as Intra-Sectarian Shi’ite Polemic (20 min)

Clare Wilde, University of Auckland
Quranic Echoes of the bnay qeyama (20 min)

Discussion (20 min)

Business Meeting (20 min)

International Qur’anic Studies Association
Joint Session With: International Qur’anic Studies Association, Qur’an and Biblical Literature
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel – Johnson B

Theme: Modern Muslim Critics of Bible and Isra’iliyyat

Brannon Wheeler, United States Naval Academy, Presiding

Gabriel Said Reynolds, University of Notre Dame
Reading the Bible with Ahmad Deedat (20 min)

Michael Pregill, Elon University
Modern Critics of Isra’iliyyat and the Problem of Isma’ (20 min)

Younus Mirza, Allegheny College
Abridging the Isra’iliyyat: Shaykh Ahmad Shakir’s (d.1377/1958) Summary of Tafsir Ibn Kathir (20 min)

Roberto Tottoli, Universita degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale
Isra’iliyyat: A Tool of Muslim Exegesis and Western Studies (20 min)

Discussion (20 min)

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