Dr. Karen Bauer, who has recently joined the Qur’anic Studies Unit at the IIS from Princeton University, presented a paper as a member of the panel for “New Approaches to Tafsir”. Dr. Bauer’s paper was titled, “How does customary practice affect Qur’anic interpretation? The case of household roles”. It focused on a text in which exegesis, recommending specific behaviour, contradicted another normative source, the law. Contradictions between two different types of normative sources have not received due attention in current scholarship. Dr. Bauer’s work was seen as a useful contribution to this new line of inquiry. Some other research trends discussed in the panel included the recent emphasis on the purpose of exegetical works in their particular contexts. It was observed that the examination of the exegetes’ stated intentions behind their works of exegesis, and how those intentions mesh with their actual practices of writing, is a growing trend in Quranic studies. This line of research enables modern scholars to understand better how certain contexts affected the writing of works of exegesis.
The IIS also participated in book exhibitions. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the achievements of more than 86 participating book exhibitors. The Institute displayed and promoted the full range of its publications at its bookstall, which was frequently visited by the panel members and other participants for the duration of the conference. Publications in the IIS’ Qur’anic Studies Series, particularly the recently released Word of God, Art of Man, generated noticeable interest.