Qur’anic Studies Unit (QSU)

Through our team of researchers and teaching activities, Qur’anic studies engages in an academic exploration of the Qur’an and the history of its interpretation. In this way, we advance knowledge about the entire spectrum of tafsir sources and provide a general understanding of the variety of Qur’anic interpretations that have been elaborated by Muslims throughout history, as well as of the various contexts and methodologies that have shaped those interpretations.

We publish the Qur’anic Studies Series in association with Oxford University Press. This series has been going strong since 2004, showcasing academically rigorous publications related to the Qur’an not only by in-house researchers but also by external academics. The range of publications here includes anthologies, edited volumes, translations and studies of classical texts.

Over the years, we have organised and hosted several conferences, workshops and lecture series. These have allowed scholars across disciplines to share their research, exchange ideas and advance the study of the Qur’an.

Our research

The Qur’anic Studies Unit is dedicated to exploring the ways in which the Qur’an has served, and continues to serve, as an inspiration for Muslim societies. In that vein, our researchers adopt an interdisciplinary approach that emphasises the sociology and anthropology of history. The scholars within the unit are currently conducting research on:  

  • the theory and methodology of Qur’anic interpretation (its hermeneutics);  
  • the works of Qur’anic interpretation (tafsir) – both historical (the work of Shahrastani) and contemporary;  
  • specific themes within the Qur’an (emotions within the Qur’an, angels in the Qur’an, mystical exegesis in the Qur’an);  
  • sociological issues, such as those related to gender in Islamic history and thought;  
  • Islamic theology (specifically Twelver  Shiʿism), literature and philosophy.  

We are also committed to a number of long-term projects, such as The Qur’an through the Ages (an encyclopaedic survey of the Qur’an through time) and the multi-volume Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries.