This 13-minute interview with Dr Stephen Burge elaborates on the significance of lexicology to Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir). Dr Burge discusses how the meanings of words evolve and change according to the contexts and theological perspectives of individual exegetes, and illustrates their fluidity with examples from the text. He also comments on how the project was conceived, including how the key themes and contributors were chosen.

The volume approaches lexicology of the Qur’an through a range of disciplines including linguistics, law, literary criticism, gender and mysticism. It also features contributions made by leading scholars, as well as young researchers in the field of Qur’anic exegesis, linguistics, and law: Professor Herbert Berg, Dr S.R. Burge, Dr Ayesha Chaudhry, Professor Agostino Cilardo, Professor Claude Gilliot, Dr Toby Mayer, Professor Christopher Melchert, Professor Devin Stewart, Professor Kees Versteegh, Professor Stefan Wild, Dr M. Brett Wilson and Dr Travis Zadeh., amongst others.

The Meaning of the Word is the first in-depth discussion on the lexicology of the Qur’an in English that provides an overview of Muslim interpretive diversity from the beginnings of Qur’anic exegesis to the contemporary period – covering Arab, Persian, Turkish and European worlds, as well as recent English translations of the Qur’an.

Q1: How did the idea of this project arise?

Q2: How were the key themes and contributors chosen for this volume?

Q3: What has been the relative importance of lexicology in the Qur’anic tafsir (exegesis) tradition and how is this study significant to us today?

Q4: Could you highlight how the study of lexicology helps us to understand the interpretive diversity amongst Muslims?

Q5: What unique contributions does this publication make to the wider discourse on Qur’anic exegesis?

Q6: What are the key points you would like readers to take away from this publication?