Course Memo

This course introduces students to the Qur'an, the sacred text of Muslims, to the historical context in which it emerged, to its structure, canonization, and key themes, and to the various ways in which the Qur'an has had a presence in Muslim theological, social, cultural, political, and intellectual life with a major focus on the methods of its interpretation(s). Students will be engaging with primary exegetical texts (in translation) selected from a range of periods and denominations as well as secondary academic literature on Qur'anic exegesis to appreciate the sophistication and diversity of the interpretive methods. A significant part of the course will include conversations on Qur’anic verses on women, sexuality, human rights, prophecy, piety, jihad, the society and the individual, interreligious engagement, environmental ethics, nature and animals, justice, and eschatology. Students will be evaluated on engaging participation in group discussions, individual class presentations, and a final project. This is a seminar course offered remotely (synchronously) via Zoom and is open to MA, MDiv, MTS, as well as PhD students (with added research). Assessments include class discussions, oral presentations, and a final project.