SOAS University of London

Centre of Islamic Studies

The Qur'an: Text, History & Culture

12-14 November 2009, SOAS, University of London

Convenors: Professor MAS Abdel Haleem & Dr Ayman Shihadeh

‘The Qur’an: Text, History & Culture’ Conference aims to bring together papers representing a diverse range of areas and approaches within Qur’anic studies. While the conference will remain committed to the textual study of both the Qur'an itself and the history of the religious, intellectual and artistic activity that developed around it and drew on it, attention will also be given to non-textual cultural and sociological studies relating to the Qur'an. Our objective is to stimulate discussion, debate and research on all aspects of Qur'anic studies. 


Thursday 12 November
Opening Address Professor MAS Abdel Haleem 9.45–10.00
Structure and Composition (chair: Mustansir Mir) 10.00–11.30

Michel Cuypers, ‘Semitic Rhetoric as a Key to the Question of Nazm of the Qur’anic Text’
Ayman El-Desouky, ‘Nazm, I‘jaz, Discontinuous Kerygma: Approaching Qur’anic Voice on the Other Side of the Poetic’
Thomas Hoffmann, ‘From the Chaotic to the Chaordic: Rethinking Chaos and Qur’an’

Presentation 11.45–12.15

Hadiya Gurtmann & Jens Sauer, ‘Documenting the Textual History of the Qur'an: The Approach of the Corpus Coranicum Project (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences)’

The Qur’an and Medieval Philosophy (chair: Ayman Shihadeh) 13.30–15.00

Peter Adamson, ‘Abu Bakr al-Razi on Prophecy’
Daniel De Smet & Meryem Sebti, ‘Avincena’s Philosophical Approach to the Qur’an in the Light of his Tafsir Surat al-Ikhlas
Heidrun Eichner, ‘The Hermeneutics of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi’s Qur’an Commentary: A Link between Philosophy and Sufism’

Theological Approaches to the Qur’an (chair: Hugh Kennedy) 15.30–17.30

Anthony H. Johns, ‘The Transfiguration of the Spoken Word: A Humanistic Approach to I‘jaz
Abdessamad Belhaj, ‘Argumentation of the Qur’an through al-Muzaffar al-Razi’s Hujaj al-Qur’an and al-Tufi’s ‘Alam al-Jadhal
Ahmad Achtar, ‘Al-Zamakhshari’s Unique Hermeneutics of Anthropomorphic Verses in the Qur’an: Majaz Based on Kinaya and Takhyil
Christopher Melchert, ‘God Created Adam in His Image’

Friday 13 November
Tafsir (chair: Toby Mayer) 9.00–10.30

Robert Morrison, ‘Astrology and Tafsir
Jamal J. Elias, ‘Sufi Tafsir Reconsidered: Exploring of the Development of a Genre’
Mustansir Mir, ‘Reading the Qur’an with the Bible in Mind’

Tafsir (chair: MAS Abdel Haleem) 11.00–12.30

Badri N. Zubir, ‘Al-Sharif al-Radi’s Contribution to Qur’anic Exegesis: An Analysis of Talkhis al-Bayan fi Majaz al-Qur’an
Husain Qutbuddin, ‘Fatimid Legal Hermeneutics: The Da‘a’im al-Islam of al-Qadi al-Nu‘man (d.363/974)’
Tammam Hassan, ‘Al-dalala bayna al-ifrad al-mu‘jami wa’l-tanawwu‘ al-siyaqi

Ethics in the Qur’an (chair: Anthony Johns) 14.00–15.30

Ahmad Z. Obeidat, ‘Defining Good in the Qur’an: A Semantic Inquiry in Qur’anic Ethics’
Patrick Franke, ‘Islamic Morality in the Making: The Sexual Ethics of the Qur’an and its Late Antique Context’
Nora S. Eggen, ‘Conceptions of Trust in the Qur’an: The Case of Amana

The Qur’an in the Contemporary World (chair: Sebastian Guenther) 16.00–17.30

A. David K. Owen, ‘Whither Averroism: Does Ibn Rushd’s Interpretation of the Qur’an Provide the Basis for a Modernist Rereading of Islamic Law?’
Johanna Pink, ‘A Typology of Contemporary Sunni Tafsir: Sources, Methods and Aims of Qur’anic Commentaries from the Arabic World, Indonesia and Turkey since 1967’ 
Hassan al-Shafie, ‘Qawa`id al-`aqidah fi’l-Qur’an

Saturday 14 November
Early Manuscripts (chair: Abdul-Hakeem al-Matroudi) 9.30–11.00

Alain George, ‘On Chronology and Provenance in Early Qur’ans’
Anne Regourd, ‘One More ‘Abbasid Qur’an: IFAO, Edfou 73’
Shannon Wearing, ‘Precious Blood, Sacred Text: The Legacy of the ‘Uthmanic Qur’an’

Early Qur’anic Text (chair: Mustafa Shah) 11.30–13.00

Asma Helali, ‘The Sanaa Palimpsest: Introductory Remarks to Philological and Literary Aspects’
Michael Marx, ‘The Qur’an According to Agfa: The Gotthelf-Bergsträßer-Photoarchive of Qur’anic Manuscripts and the Question of Material Evidence for the Study of the Textual History of the Qur’an’
Amr Osman, ‘A Neglected Aspect of the History of the Qur’an: The Waqf Rules and the Redaction of the Qur’anic Text’

Cultural Expressions (chair: Sebastian Guenther) 14.00–15.30

Natalia Viola, ‘West African Qur’ans: Codicological Features of the Sudani Style’
Elsaid Badawi, ‘Qur’anic Recitation and Audience Rhythm: The Case of the Egyptian Reciter, Mustafa Isma‘il (1905–78)’
Jeffrey Einboden, ‘The Early American Qur’an: Islamic Scripture and U.S. Canon’

Literary Perspectives (chair: Stefan Sperl) 16.00–17.30

Todd Lawson, ‘The Qur’an as Epic: A Consideration of Formal and Thematic Elements’
Shawkat Toorawa, ‘(Absent) Fathers in the Qur’an’
Hanadi M. Behairi, ‘The Fantastic in the Qur’an: A Structural Approach to Study the Story of Moses and al-Khidr (18:60–82)’

Further Information:

Venue: SOAS, University of London, Brunei Gallery, Russell Square, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG (maps, travel and hotel information).

No registration is required for this conference and all are welcome to attend.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, fax: +44 (0) 20 7898 4379, or by email:

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