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Course Detail

The Qurʾan and Its Interpreters


This course will introduce students to the Qur¿anic scripture, its history, themes, characteristic styles, and the way in which it has functioned as an authority for Muslims throughout Islamic history. The course will explore two genres that have emerged from the direct study of the Qur¿an, most specifically Qur¿anic exegesis (tafsir) and the art of its recitation (tajwid). We will examine competing modes of interpretation and the most significant exegetes in the pre-modern and modern periods, paying specific attention to the role of modernity in creating new approaches to Qur¿anic interpretation. Lastly, this course surveys a wide range of exegetical interpretations on 1) women and sexuality, 2) violence and jihad, and 3) religious pluralism. 

Satisfies a requirement for the Religious Studies major and minor.
Satisfies a requirement for the Middle East Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Philosophical and Religious Studies requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.