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“Tadabbur al-Qur’an - Contemplating the Qur’an” (Day 2)
Mar 26 2013 9am-5:15pm
Howard University School of Divinity
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Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding


Howard University School of Divinity

invite you to a two-day conference:

'Tadabbur al-Qur'an
Contemplating the Qur'an'

keynote speaker:

Sulayman Nyang
Howard University

The conference organizers invite you to a unique conference on the Qur’an that combines intellectual rigor with community engagement. The conference will highlight several areas of contemporary Qur'anic scholarship, including the study of different hermeneutical approaches to the Qur'an; intertextual and thematic readings of the Qur'anic text; and textual analyses that explore the relationship between structure and meaning in the Qur'an. One of the key aims of the conference is to foster discussion between academics, community leaders, and students regarding the Qur’an and its various interpretations. The conference will focus on the following topics: The Qur’an in dialogue with Jews and Christians, The Qur’an between faith and critical thinking, Qur’anic ethics, Gender in the Qur’an, Intertextual readings of the Qur’an, Thematic and stylistic analysis.

March 25 - 26, 2013

Howard University School of Divinity
1400 Shepherd Street, NE Washington, DC 20017

Monday, March 25

Welcome: 8:00-8:30

Qur’anic Recitation

Opening remarks: 8:30-9:15: Dean Alton B. Pollard and Prof. Zainab Alwani

Panel 1: 9:15-10:30:
Structural and Intertextual Analysis of Prophetic Narratives
Sarra Tlili, University of Florida: “Stone and Sound Motifs in Surat al-Hijr.”
Dalia Abo-Haggar, Harvard University: “The Queen of Sheba, the Hoopoe, and the Ant: A Structural Analysis of the Role of the Story of Solomon in Surat al-Naml.”
Bruce Lawrence, Duke University: “Qur’anic Translation as Linguistic Performance: The Case of Surat Maryam.”

10:30-11:00: Coffee Break

Panel 2: 11:00-12:30:
Structural and Literary Constructions in the Qur’an
M. Zakyi Ibrahim, California State University, Fullerton: “A Structural Analysis of Qur’an 56: Whose Assessment is it Anyway?”
Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, University of Groningen. “Textual Commentaries Inside the Qur’anic Text: ‘words spoken aside’ Contributing the Self-referentiality.”
Ahmed Alwishah, Pitzer College: “Dialectical Disputation in the Qur’an.”

Lunch 12:30-2:00

Panel 3: 2:00-3:45:
Qur’anic Engagement with Jews and Christians and their narratives
Tariq Hamid, independent scholar: “Christians, Jews, Muslims: Friends or Foes? What the Qur’an Says.”
Faraz Sheikh, St. Joseph’s University: “Conceptual Reading of the Qur’an: Forgetting Identity and Cultivating a ‘Learning Subjectivity’ for Re-imagining ‘Faith’ (not interfaith) Relations”
Catherine Bronson, Beloit College: “Adam’s zawj: The Qur’anic Eve.”
Younus Mirza, Millsaps College: “Abridging the Isra’iliyyat: Shaykh Ahmad Shakir’s (1377/1958) Summary of Tafsir Ibn Kathir.”

Respondent: Daniel Madigan

Coffee Break: 3:45-4:00

Panel 4: 4:00-5:45:
Faith and Critical Thinking Through the Qur’an
Martin Nguyen, Fairfield University: “The Dialectic of Revelation: The Qur’an and Systematic Theology.”
Mahan Mirza, Zaytuna College: “Signs not Proofs: Revelation and Iron Descend from the Sky.”
Basit Karim: “Critique, Qur’anic Studies, and Form-of-Life: ‘Contemporary Critical Practices’ Reprised.”
Umeyye Yazicioglu, St. Joseph’s University: “Belief in Hell Heaven in this Day and Age? Said Nursi’s Interpretation of Hereafter in the Qur’an.”

Keynote Dinner 7:00-8:30 Speaker: Dr. Sulayman Nyang

Tuesday, March 26

Panel 5: 9:00-10:30:
Qur’anic Discourses on Women and Gender
Ilona Gerbakher, Harvard University: “Female Intellect in 20th Century Jewish and Islamic Legal Thought: A Comparative Perspective.”
Zuleyha Colak, Columbia University: “Womanly Guile Vs. Human-ly Guile” (Yusuf and Zulaykha).”
Salman Younas: “Between Bilqis and Abu Bakara: Ashraf `Ali Thanawi on Women’s Political Leadership.”
Shehnaz Haqqani, University of Texas, Austin. “Men as Kum and Women as Hunna: the Qur’an’s Essential Audience.”

Coffee Break: 10:30-11:00

Panel 6: 11:00-12:30:
Qur’anic Conceptions of Virtue, and Ethics
Katrin Jomaa, Emory University: “Virtuous Action rather than Denomination” The Qur’anic Approach to Defining Umma and Liberating it from Historical Confines.”
Celene Ayat Lizzio, Brandeis University: “Disparate Paradigms for Energizing Religious Reform: Two Prominent 20th Century Exegetes on Qur’anic Hermeneutics and Religious Ethics.”
Farid Esack, University of Johannesburg: “The Acid-Test of Faith: Socio-Economic Justice in the Early Meccan Surahs.”

Lunch 12:30-2:00

Panel 7: 2:00-3:30:
Interpreting the Qur’an: Necessary, Impossible, Inevitable?
Zainab Alwani, Howard University: “Contemplating the Qur’an: Themes of Surat al-Hujurat”
Amr Osman: “Is There a Literal Reading of the Qur’an?: The Myth of the Literalism of Zahirism.”
Maria Dakake, George Mason University: “Tafsir and Ta’wil: The Search for Meaning and Certainty in the Qur’an.”

Respondent: Imam Mohamed Magid

Coffee Break: 3:30-4:00

Future planning Session: 4:00-5:00

Closing Remarks 5:00-5:15: Maria Dakake

Seating is limited

Please RSVP here:

For directions to Howard University School of Divinity please visit:


Zainab Alwani Howard University
Maria Dakake George Mason University
Younus Y. Mirza Millsaps College
Howard University School of Divinity and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding

Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign ServiceICC 301, Georgetown UniversityWashington D.C. 20057Phone: (202)

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