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The Qur'anic Counter-Discourse

25th June 2015
210 Euston Road
United Kingdom

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This lecture will introduce to a quranic singular literary form: the ‘counter discourse’, i.e. the discourse of the Quran’s opponents mentioned in the Quran itself. The counter discourses are easily identifiable as direct reported speeches of the opponents introduced by the verb 'say'. I propose to methodically examine this opposing ‘voice’ in the whole text. Three analytical moves mark my investigation and will be exposed in this lecture. The first identify and define the subject of my research. The second move leads to identifying and quantifying a corpus. Finally, the third focuses on analyzing the same corpus querying its themes, forms and its evolution. Throughout this presentation, I will propose notional clarifications (a formal typology of the counter-discourses), quantitative assessments (importance and distribution of counter-discourses), as well as formal distinctions and types of discursive strategies (refutation forms, strategies and discursive effects, types of opponents, internal evolution). This lecture will be accompanied by diagrams, graphs and tables in order to give a useful analysis of this discursive corpus.


Azaiez, Mehdi, Le contre-discours coranique, Berlin, De Gruyter, ("Studies in the History and Culture of the Middle East; 30"), 2015, xviii+345 p. ISBN 978-3-11-041999-3



Prof. Mehdi Azaiez

Mehdi Azaiez (Paris, 1974) is Assistant Professor of Islamic studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, and member of the Research Unit Biblical Studies. His research focuses on Quranic Studies and Early Islam. In the past (2012-2013), he was instructor on Islamic Studies and co-director (with Prof. Gabrielinfo-icon Said Reynolds) of the international project « Qur’ân Seminar » at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA).

Since 2013, he is a member of the Publications and Research committee of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA). Since 2013, he is also a scientific member of the Bulletin Critique des Annales Islamologiques (BCAI). Since 2012, he is an associate researcher at the Institute de Recherches et d’Etudes sur le Monde Musulman (IREMAM). He also manages a website dedicated to quranic studies: Qur’ân and Early Islam (