Introducing our Inaugural Lifetime Members

Dear friends across the globe,

Today is another proud and historic day for the International Qur’an Studies Association (IQSA). It is with great honor that I welcome IQSA’s inaugural Lifetime Members. They are: Professor Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Director of National and International Outreach, Library of Congress, and President Emeritus, Bryn Mawr College; as well as Professor Reza Aslan, University of California in Riverside, and contributor at CNN, HBO, ABC and other media outlets. Among her many impressive achievements Professor McAuliffe is the editor of the monumental research reference work known to every student and scholar of the Qur’an today, namely the Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (2001-). Likewise, Professor Aslan is known across the world for his television appearances and best-selling books, including No God but God (2005) and Zealot (2013).

Professors McAuliffe and Aslan have already contributed to IQSA’s governance and membership, but they wished to renew their commitment on a permanent basis. And for their generosity and foresight I share with them my deepest gratitude. The caliber of their leadership directly empowers IQSA’s mission and vision, not least because they represent high quality scholarship and a commitment to building bridges across the globe. Their lifetime commitment to IQSA reinforces–ensures even–IQSA’s mandate as the only independent, member controlled, learned society dedicated to critical, cutting edge scholarship on the Qur’an. By becoming Lifetime Members of IQSA Professors McAuliffe and Aslan also send a powerful message to the public, “we support the Humanities and Higher Education.”

As renowned scholars, IQSA’s inaugural Lifetime Members each produced an exciting new book in 2017. These are:

Jane Dammen McAuliffe, The Qur’an (W.W. Norton, 2017) 

9780393927054_300This Norton Critical Edition is based on a thoroughly revised and annotated version of the well-regarded Pickthall translation of the Qur’an. Jane McAuliffe introduces the Qur’an as a living scripture, preparing readers for an informed encounter with the text. Topics include the scholarly traditions of the study of qur’anic origins; the centuries of commentary, analysis, and intellectual dissemination that have created a library of qur’anic literature; the history of translations, particularly those in English; and the many ways the Qur’an informs Muslim life and material culture.

This Norton Critical Edition also includes:

• Seven illustrations.

• Fifty judiciously selected texts representing the full spectrum of Islamic religious thought that demonstrate the Qur’an’s intellectual impact while those from related Near Eastern literatures, including biblical and extra-biblical sources, elucidate the comparative contexts of qur’anic themes and narratives. A concluding section presents the Qur’an as an American book, with a long history and significant influence in the United States.

•A Selected Bibliography.

Reza Aslan, God: A Human History (Penguin Random House, 2017)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God.9780553394726

In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.”

But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.

More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

As a reward for their investment, lifetime members enjoy benefits in perpetuity. To accommodate the different levels of our members, IQSA offers five membership tiers starting 2018. We encourage all scholars and students in the field to consider renewing their membership or to become IQSA MEMBERS NOW.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Standing Committees, I offer a warm welcome to Professors McAuliffe, Aslan and all incoming 2018 IQSA members.


Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.

NOW ONLINE – Program Book for Baltimore, Nov 22-24

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are now days away from the first Annual Meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association taking place in Baltimore, November 22-24. This meeting is very special and would not have been possible without the help, partnership and collegiality of numerous friends. We are confident that you will find the scheduled panels both stimulating as well as enjoyable. For a complete showcase of our events, participants and sponsors we are proud to present the official AM 2013 PROGRAM BOOK. Viewers are encouraged to further circulate the program book.

(Viewers may alternately access the program book by visiting IQSAWEB.ORG >> Meetings >> Annual Meeting 2013 >> Program Book AM 2013)

Finally, do not forget our Qur’an Manuscript Panel and Inaugural Keynote Lecture followed by Reception all taking place on Friday, Nov 22 (one day before the official start of AAR or SBL). Our Keynote Lecture is on “Implausibility and Probability in Studies of Qur’anic Origins,” and will be delivered by prof. Aziz Al-Azmeh, with a Response by prof. Jane McAuliffe on Friday, 11/22/2013 at 4:30-5:45pm in Baltimore Convention Center, Rm 345. These events are all FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. To attend please RSVP HERE or send a message to

On behalf of the Directors, Steering Committee and our partners we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all friends of IQSA, and we look forward to seeing you on Friday.


Emran El-Badawi

Gabriel Reynolds

Directors, International Qur’anic Studies Association

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

Roll Call: Join the Facebook event for IQSA’s Baltimore Meeting

This week, we ask our readers to visit our Facebook page, where there is now an event posted for our day of inaugural events in Baltimore, MD, on Friday, November 22nd. The event includes a panel on ancient manuscripts, a keynote lecture by Dr. Aziz al-Azmeh with a response by Dr. Jane McAuliffe, and an opening banquet. We would love for you to be part of this landmark occasion. The event is free and open to all! (Saturday and Sunday’s events require registration, however. More information here).

You can find the Facebook event, (whether or not you have an account), here. Those who use Facebook can RSVP by “joining” the event at that link; all others are invited to e-mail us with their RSVP at While you’re at it, be sure to like our IQSA page to stay connected with us there. We hope to see you on Facebook or email soon!

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

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.

Planning begins for Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān: Supplement

By Jane McAuliffe

When the discussions surrounding the Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān commenced in 1993 the scholarly world was a different place from the one we find ourselves in today.  It hardly needs to be stated that public attention to the Islamic world has increased considerably over the past two decades, and publishing houses have responded with a flood of popular and academic tomes.  The Qurʾān and Qurʾānic studies have enjoyed (and at times suffered from) a central role in this changing context.  The timing of the publication of EQ over the period of 2001 to 2006 was fortuitous and welcomed by readers around the world.  In the years since its publication its value has been revealed in many ways, as witnessed by its consistent citation in scholarly and general books.  Still, the intervening time from the original planning until today shows that there is much more that could be accomplished.  A new generation of scholars devoted to the Qurʾān and its interpretation has emerged.  The broader field of Islamic Studies has generated topics of both academic and popular interest for which the Qurʾān and its scholarship is an important source.  And new forms of publication, particularly electronic and online, allow completed work, such as a multi-volume encyclopedia, to be reimagined as a more flexible and continually refreshed reference source, one that can keep pace with a field of study as it changes and push its boundaries.

Encyclopedia of the Qur'an (

Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (

The Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, the first such work in western languages, was designed to define the field of Qur’ānic studies and to capture the state of scholarship as it stood at the time of its publication.  This it did quite successfully.  The structure of the Encyclopaedia, as outlined in the Preface, which combined entries of varying length with longer, synoptic essays, was intended to summarize past academic work and to set an agenda for the future.  The very success of the Encyclopaedia in advancing the field has resulted, perhaps inevitably, in the suggestion that a way be found to expand, improve, and update it. The revolution of electronic publication and online access now permits the realization of that suggestion.

Discussions have thus been initiated between Brill and an editorial team under the direction of Jane McAuliffe to issue regular supplements to the Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān.  The goal is not to replace published entries—the original edition will remain intact—but to expand the existing base of articles with freshly commissioned ones on the same, related and new topics.  These will serve to complement, supplement, elaborate on, and provide additional perspectives on the current print and online edition.  Future supplements will provide entries and longer essays under new headings, reflecting work currently being undertaken and recently published in the scholarly arena. The editors will also commission additional entries dealing with the exegetical tradition, filling in information about authors and works that are referenced throughout the published Encyclopaedia but not treated independently or expansively within its pages.

With this expansion of the online edition, the basic editorial approach of EQ will remain the same. Entries will be found primarily under English keywords.  The perspective of the work will continue to be thoroughly academic and rigorous, incorporating a plurality of perspectives and presuppositions, as the Preface to the original Encyclopaedia expressed it.  The editorial team continues to uphold the notion that “[s]cholarly perspective can no longer be neatly pinned to religious identification and good scholarship is flourishing in this richly plural environment” and will strive to ensure that it is in this spirit that the Encyclopaedia continues to expand.

Now that this opportunity to create a supplement is available to those of us who work in this field, the editorial team would welcome suggestions of topics that users of the Encyclopaedia feel should be included or expanded upon. While proposing a topic does not guarantee its inclusion, surfacing as many good suggestions as possible will certainly launch this project in a productive direction.  Following the contemporary process of “crowdsourcing,” the collective input of the scholarly community and other interested individuals will ensure that the coverage of the Encyclopaedia continues to evolve with the field of Qur’ānic Studies itself and to be as comprehensive as possible.

Please send all suggestions and correspondence to any of the individual email addresses below or to:

Editorial Board

Jane McAuliffe, general editor ( and

William Graham, associate editor (

Daniel Madigan, associate editor (

Andrew Rippin, associate editor (

Mona Siddiqui, associate editor (

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