Conference Schedule

Full SBL/AAR Conference Schedule available on SBL’s site


Conference Schedule: IQSA Events

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition 
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Beacon A (Third Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB)

Holger Zellentin, University of Nottingham, Presiding
Devin Stewart, Emory University
Abraham’s Lies and Verbal Ambiguity in the Qur’an (30 min)
Nicolai Sinai, University of Oxford
“The creed of your father Abraham”: Towards an intertextual and literary profile of the Qur’anic Abraham passages (30 min)
Gavin McDowell, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
What Did Judaism Borrow from Muhammad? The Qur’an and Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer Reconsidered (30 min)
Shari L. Lowin, Stonehill College
“The Jews say the Hand of God is Chained”: Q 5:64, the midrash, and the Favor of God (30 min)
Faris Casewit, Harvard University
The Sayings of Jesus (‘Isa) in Harrali’s (d. 1241) Exegetical Treatise Sa’d al-wa’i wa-uns al-qari (30 min)


4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
Room: Essex Center (Third Level) – Westin Copley Place Hotel (WCP)
Speaker: Gerald Hawting (IQSA President)
Presidential Address:
The House and the Book’. Some reflections on scripture and sanctuary in early Islam.
Respondent: Sean Anthony (Ohio State University)


5:15 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Essex North (Third Level) – Westin Copley Place Hotel (WCP)

Theme: Reception



Qur’an and Biblical Literature; International Qur’anic Studies Association
Joint Session With: Qur’an and Biblical Literature, International Qur’anic Studies Association
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Room: Belvidere B (Second Level) – Hilton Boston Back Bay

Theme: Roundtable Discussion of Islam and Its Past: Jahiliyya, Late Antiquity and the Qur’an, edited by Carol Bakhos and Michael Cook

John Kaltner, Rhodes College, Presiding
Carol Bakhos, University of California-Los Angeles, Introduction (10 min)
Karen Bauer, Panelist (20 min)
Daniel Madigan, Georgetown University, Panelist (20 min)
Shawkat Toorawa, Panelist (20 min)
Joseph Lowry, University of Pennsylvania, Panelist (20 min)
Discussion (30 min)



Graduate Student Reception
Room: Off Site (RSVP to
IQSA invites graduate students and emerging scholars to engage with experts in the field in a relaxed setting over light refreshments off-site.



The Qur’an: Surah Studies

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Room: Orleans (Fourth Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place (MCP)

Marianna Klar, Presiding
Joseph E. Lowry, University of Pennsylvania
Legislative Framing and Communal Focus in Surat al-Ahzab (30 min)
Matthew Anderson, Georgetown University
Between Scripture and Tradition: Q 33:57-61 and the Development of Classical Islamic Blasphemy Law (30 min)
Ghazala Anwar, Graduate Theological Union
Reading Sura 33 al-Ahzab in relation to Sura 42 al-Shura (30 min)
Bruce Bennett Lawrence, Duke University
The Puzzle of Surat Al-Ahzab (Q 33) v.35 in English translation (30 min)


4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Room: Fairfield (Third Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place (MCP)

Theme: Roundtable: The Islamic Jesus
Mustafa Akyol’s recent monograph “The Islamic Jesus” examines “how the king of the Jews became a prophet of the Muslims” and raises, among other things, the question of the importance of Jewish Christianity for the emergence of Islam. He will be joined by other experts of the Qur’an as well as Syriac and Rabbinic literature in order to explore these and other topics.

Gabriel Reynolds, University of Notre Dame, Presiding
Holger Zellentin, University of Nottingham, Panelist
Shari Lowin, Stonehill College, Panelist
Gerald Hawting, School of Oriental and African Studies, Panelist
Sidney Griffith, Catholic University of America, Panelist
Emran El-Badawi, University of Houston, Panelist
Mustafa Akyol, Panelist


Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Beacon B (Third Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB)

Theme: Surah Titles: Connections to Structure, Themes, and Rhetoric of Revelation

Andrew C. Smith, Brigham Young University
Suwar al-Sajdah: Prostration as Surah Title for Q 32 and Q 41 (25 min)
Stephen Burge, Institute of Ismaili Studies
Theological Onomastics: Spiritual Didacticism in Al-Suyuti’s Twenty One Names for Surat al-Fatiha (25 min)
Emad Mohamed, Université du Québec à Montréal
How did Muslims Name the Chapters of the Quran: a Computational Analysis (25 min)
Afnan H. Fatani, King Abdul-aziz University
S for Salat: Prostration as an Organizational Principle of Spatial Movement in Surat Sad (Q. 38) (25 min)
Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, University of Strasbourg (France)
Naming the Revelation: Titles, Isolated Letters and Metatexts in the Hâwâmîm (25 min)
Omar Edaibat, McGill Institute of Islamic Studies
On Sura Titles and the Four-Fold Process of Spiritual Transformation in the Quran: An Intra-TextualApproach (25 min)


The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Room: 208 (Second Level) – Hynes Convention Center (HCC)

Theme: Re-Orienting the Study of Late Antiquity before and after Muhammad
This session is co-sponsored by the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity unit (AAR).

Michael Pregill, Boston University, Presiding
Khodadad Rezakhani, Princeton University, Panelist
Jennifer Hart, Elon University, Panelist
Naomi Koltun-Fromm, Haverford College, Panelist
Sara Ronis, Saint Mary’s University (San Antonio), Panelist
Kevin Jaques, Indiana University Bloomington, Panelist


Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermenuetics

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 709 (Street Level) – Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Studies on the Interpretation of the Qur’an

Feras Hamza, Institute of Ismaili Studies, Presiding
Gabriel Said Reynolds, University of Notre Dame
The Problem of Qurʾanic Insertions (25 min)
Sohaib Saeed, University of Glasgow
Intraquranic Exegesis Between Theory and Practice (Case Study of Q6, al-Anʿām) (25 min)
Tahira Amin, Lancaster University
Verily it is of your guile; verily your guile is great! (Q12:28): A Critical Discourse Analysis of all references to kayd (guile) in the Quran and Classical Tafsir (25 min)
Thomas Hoffmann, University of Copenhagen
The Iconic Qurʾān: A Materialist Reading of the Qurʾānic Cult of Writing (25 min)
Johanna Pink, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Ṣabr. An activist turn in Qurʾānic hermeneutics (25 min)


The Qur’an and Late Antiquity
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Provincetown (Fourth Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place (MCP)

Theme: Qur’anic Themes, Language, and Rites in Late Antique Perspective

Michael Pregill, Boston University, Presiding
Abraham Winitzer, University of Notre Dame
Akkadian kipir kishâdim and the Fate of Islam’s kâfirûn in Q 8:12; 47:4 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Javad “Jay” Hashmi, University of California-Berkeley
War and Peace in Early Islam (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Johanne Christiansen, Aarhus Universitet
“And their prayer at the House is nothing but a whistling and a clapping of hands” (Q8:35): Negotiating Processions in the Qur’an (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Ari M. Gordon, University of Pennsylvania
Wherever you Turn, the Face of God is There: Liturgical Direction in the Qur’an and Religions of Late Antiquity (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Karen Bauer, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
Grief in the Qur’an and its Milieu (20 min)
Discussion (20 min)

IQSA Business Meeting (Open to Public)
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Room: Provincetown (Fourth Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place (MCP)


The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition

1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Provincetown (Fourth Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place (MCP)

Cornelia Horn, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Presiding
Rachel Dryden, University of Oxford
Angels from Biblical History in the Qur’an (30 min)
Holger Zellentin, University of Nottingham
The Prohibition of Incest in the Qur’an in its Biblical and Late Antique Context (30 min)
Thomas Hoffmann, Københavns Universitet
The Doxological Mode of Religiosity in the Qur’an (or how not to repeat the errors of the Jews and Christians) (30 min)
Gabriel Said Reynolds, University of Notre Dame
Speaking Biblically: On the Qur’an’s Use of Biblical Turns of Phrase (30 min)
Cornelia Horn, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Oral and Written Transmissions at the Intersection of the Bible and the Qur’an (30 min)


Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Boston University (Third Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place (MCP)

Theme: Minority and Marginalized Hermeneutics
This panel examines the hermeneutical strategies of minority and marginalized groups.

Karen Bauer, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Presiding
Khalil Andani, Harvard University
Reading Text through Pre-Text: Redefining Isma’ili Hermeneutics (25 min)
Charles Ramsey, Forman Christian College
From Farahi to Ghamidi: an introduction to the trajectory of the Indian Nazm School of qur’anic exegesis (25 min)
Orhan Elmaz, University of St. Andrews
Unveiling female emancipation: A forced blessing? (25 min)
Shehnaz Haqqani, Ithaca College
Marginalizing Gender in the Study of the Qur’an (25 min)
Joseph Stewart, Florida State University
Are the Samaritans People of the Book? An Investigation into the Interpretation of Sura 20 (25 min)


1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Room: Commonwealth (Third Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB)

Theme: Towards a Sophisticated Digital Concordance of the Qur’an: A Presentation of the Qur’an Gateway Project
This session will invite scholarly feedback on ongoing efforts to create a sophisticated digital concordance of the Qur’an permitting, among other things, a search for formulaic systems in the Qur’anic corpus. Anyone engaged in research on the Qur’an is invited to attend and to contribute.

Nicolai Sinai, University of Oxford, Presiding
Andy Bannister, Melbourne School of Theology, Panelist
Nick Chatrath, Panelist
Daniel Brubaker, Panelist


Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism; The Qur’an and Late Antiquity
Joint Session With: Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism, The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Beacon H (Third Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB)

Theme: Rethinking Jewish-Christianity and Islam

Annette Reed, New York University, Presiding (10 min)
Stephen Shoemaker, University of Oregon
Jewish-Christian Phantoms at the Origins of Islam (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Michael Pregill, Boston University
Between Yahud and Nasara: “Jewish Christianity” as Hermeneutic Device in Qur’anic Studies (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Jae Han, University of Pennsylvania
Jewish-Christianity, Late Antiquity, and Nativist Prophets of Early Islam (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Elena Dugan, Princeton University
New (Enochic) Gateways in Ibn al-Nadim’s Fihrist: Thinking Outside the “Jewish-Christian” Box (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)


The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Back Bay A (Second Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB)

Theme: Analysis of the Qur’an’s text as found in manuscripts
This unit provides analysis of the Qur’an’s text as found in manuscripts utilizing paleographical, codicological, and other established methodologies used in textual criticism (lower criticism). Oral tradition as recorded in manuscripts is also featured.

Alba Fedeli, Central European University, Budapest, Presiding
Shady H. Nasser, Harvard University
The Second Canonization of the Qur’an (20 min)
Raymond K. Farrin, American University of Kuwait
Verse Numbering Systems of the Qur’an: A Comparative Study (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Joshua Falconer, The Catholic University of America
From Variance to Canonicity: The Superimposition of Readings in Early Abbasid Scribal Practice (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Elif Behnan Karabiyik, Istanbul 29 Mayis University
Dating of the Quranic Manuscript (Ms. 4313) and Its Palaeographical and Textual Features (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)



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