New Periodical: Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (JLAIBS)

New Periodical: Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (JLAIBS)

Edinburgh University Press recently launched a new periodical, the Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (JLAIBS). The JLAIBS as a hotspot for interdisciplinary dialogue aims to disseminate new approaches and methodologies that intend to transform our understanding of broader Late Antique and Medieval phenomena, such as knowledge transfer and cultural exchanges, by looking beyond single linguistic traditions or political boundaries. It provides a forum for high-quality articles on the interactions and cross-cultural exchange between different traditions and of the so-called Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world. Thematically, the journal also welcomes submissions dealing individually with Late Antique, Byzantine and Islamic literature, history, archaeology, and material culture from the fourth to the fifteenth century. 

Articles should be written in English and can be up to 15,000 words in total length (i.e. including all footnotes, bibliography and any appendices). Submissions to Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies should be formatted in accordance with the full JLAIBS style guidelines and sent as Word and PDF files to

Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Marie Legendre (University of Edinburgh) 
Dr Yannis Stouraitis (University of Edinburgh)

 Editorial board:
Prof. Peter Adamson (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) 
Prof. Gianfranco Agosti (Sapienza Università di Roma) 
Assoc. Prof. Corisande Fenwick (University College London)  
Prof. Robert Hoyland (New York University)  
Prof. Marc Lauxtermann (University of Oxford)  
Prof. Maria Mavroudi (University of California, Berkeley)
Prof. Annliese Nef (Université Paris 1 Panthéon)  
Prof. Dr Johannes Pahlitzsch (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz) 
Assoc. Prof. Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading) 
Assoc. Prof. Maria Parani (University of Cyprus) 
Prof. Samuel Rubenson (Lund University)  
Assoc. Prof. Kostis Smyrlis (National Hellenic Research Foundation/Athens)  
Assoc. Prof. Jack Tannous (Princeton University)  
Assoc. Prof. Alicia Walker (Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania) 


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.


The Qur’an and the Just Society

Ramon Harvey*

I was standing in a library aisle in the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, my neck craning to read titles dropping vertically down the spines of books. A familiar experience for many students, even if it is being increasingly replaced by the ubiquitous blue-white glow of the screen. Around me were shelves containing the collection of books in English about the Qur’an. SOAS buys almost everything of note, yet this section is modest in size, reflecting the neglect that the academic field of Qur’anic studies has historically received (though in very recent times it has undergone a small renaissance). On that day in 2009, something stuck out. In my mind’s eye, a gap in the literature had taken literal shape on the shelves. Was there really no monograph focused on social justice in the Qur’an?

During the next decade, questions of justice have only intensified around the world, especially in the so-called Muslim world. The “Arab Spring”, commencing at the end of 2010, which was so clearly motivated by a rejection of unjust regimes, not to mention the rise of ISIS in its aftermath, told me that I was on the right track with a theme that was “too broad for a PhD” in the words of one academic I met. Whenever I tried to explain to anybody the rationale for such a wide scope, I would fall back on the idea that it was as necessary to look at the connections between different aspects of social justice in the Qur’an – and its overarching ethical stance – as it was to study them in their individual detail.


This thematic point mirrors a disciplinary one. Anyone who reads classical exegetical literature soon realises that it contains discussions drawn from all other parts of Muslim thought. The Qur’an, as God’s word, was considered so vast in meaning that it could only be explained by drawing on every available facet of knowledge. I make no claim to a parallel feat in The Qur’an and the Just Society, but I have perhaps retained its spirit by connecting classical disciplines including balāgha, kalām, uṣūl, fiqh, sīra, tafsīr and Hadith to their modern academic descendants in the field of Islamic studies. The nature of my approach means that though this book engages in a reconstruction of the meaning of social justice for the Qur’an’s initial audience, it does so mainly as a theological and hermeneutic intervention, rather than a historical one.

As The Qur’an and the Just Society becomes available to readers, I hope that it fills a genuine gap in our ongoing, collective understanding of the Qur’an… and does not just attract dust on library shelves.


*Ramon Harvey is Aziz Foundation Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Ebrahim College, London.


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.


New Publication “The Qur’an: A Historical-Critical Introduction”

(Content courtesy of Edinburgh University Press)

The International Qur’anic Studies Association is pleased to announce the publication of The Qur’an: A Historical-Critical Introduction by member Nicolai Sinai (Chair of Programming Committee). Nicolai Sinai is Professor of Islamic Studies at the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, and a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford. He has published on the Qur’an, on pre-modern and modern Islamic scriptural exegesis, and on the history of philosophy in the Islamic world.

“The Qur’an represents both Islam’s historical point of origin and its scriptural foundation, inaugurating a new religion and, ultimately, a new civilisation. Yet the text itself can be difficult to understand, and the scholarship devoted to it is often highly technical. This comprehensive introduction to the basic methods and current state of historical-critical Qur’anic scholarship covers all of the field’s major questions, such as: Where and when did the Qur’an emerge? How do Qur’anic surahs function as literary compositions? How do the Qur’an’s main themes and ideas relate to and transform earlier Jewish and Christian traditions?” –Edinburgh University Press


Table of Contents


Part One: Background
1 Some basic features of the Qur’an
2 Muhammad and the Qur’an
3 The Qur’anic milieu

Part Two: Method
4 Literary coherence and secondary revision
5 Inner-Qur’anic chronology
6 Intertextuality

Part Three: A diachronic survey of the Qur’anic proclamations
7 The Meccan surahs
8 The Medinan surahs

ISBN Hardback: 9780748695768
Paperback: 9780748695775
eBook (PDF): 9780748695782
eBook (ePub): 9780748695799

Find this publication at your local library or for purchase online at Edinburgh University Press!

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