Dr Nuha Al-Sha‘ar, from the Qur’anic Studies Unit at the IIS, organised a Pre-Conference Workshop entitled Cultural Responses to the Qur’an in association with the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Qur’an Group. The workshop explored the reading and interpretation of the Qur’an in the wider social and cultural context. The papers presented looked at the ways in which concepts, stories, images, and the language of the Qur’an have influenced folklorists, Persian poetry, modern Arabic novels, Ottoman courtly literature, architecture as well as American writers and artists.

The papers also highlighted how authors and artists who have used the Qur’an in their works have contributed to its reception history in a wider cultural framework. By so doing, the workshop showed the importance of not limiting the reading of the Qur’an to the confined field of tafsir and how exegesis of the Qur’an can be found in a variety of genres.

In this regard, the workshop opened up new avenues for further research which will complement the current research trend that looks at the professional scholastic spheres of tafsir. It also contributed to the understanding of the extent and boundaries of tafsir and its relations to other genres. The workshop was well-received and well-attended by academics, students and researchers.

For further information about the workshop, programme and participants, please click here.

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