Text Course: Qur'an (Arabic)

Course content

The course will provide familiarity with the text of the Quran and skill in the interpretation of individual passages based on the Arabic text. A certain number of important passages will be studied in detail. The course will also provide an introduction to current critical scholarship on the Quran.

Time period
Teaching: week 36-50. Allowance will be made for:
a) The compact seminar in Rome for students in their first term, September 19 to October 1 (a break) including their subsequent exam (until October 14)
b) The compact seminar in Oslo, September 26 to October 3 (a break) for students in their third term.
Thus there is no teaching from September 21 to October 16.

Compact seminar: Lund, November 2-4.

Exam: Paper to be handed in no later than January 20; those with a fixed exam will receive the question on January 16.

In addition to the general requirements for the program, a minimum of 10 ECTS of Arabic

Registration for the course
By email to tho@teol.ku.dk no later than September 9.


The Religious Roots of Europe

Learning outcome

The student will acquire:
* General knowledge about the contents and the language of the Quran.
* Familiarity with current critical scholarship on the text and formation of the Quran.
* Acquaintance with traditions of Quranic interpretation (tafsir) in Islam.
* In-depth familiarity with selected parts of the Quranic text and their significance in Islam.
* The skill to work independently with this type of texts.
* An understanding of and ability to apply scholarly philological method.

The teaching will combine:
* Compact seminar (see above for more details).
Distance learning

The syllabus will include:
* No more than 30 pages of primary texts in Arabic.
* 1000 pages of secondary scholarly literature and primary texts in translation. Two thirds of this syllabus are fixed, one third is chosen by the student but subject to approval by the teacher (cf. article 6.7).

Fixed syllabus
A. Neuwirth and N. Sinai. “Introduction.” In A. Neuwirth et al. (eds.), The Qur’an in Context: Historical and Literary Investigations into the Qur’anic Milieu (Leiden: Brill 2010), 1-19.
G. S. Reynolds. “Introduction: Qur’anic studies and its controversies.” In G. S. Reynolds (ed.), The Qur’an in its Historical Context (London: Routledge 2008), 1-25.
F. Donner. “The Qur’an in recent scholarship: challenges and desiderata. ” Ibid. 29-50.

The Prophet Muhammad
R. Hoyland. “Writing the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad: Problems and Solutions.” History Compass 5 (2007) 582-602.
Rubin, Uri. “Prophets and Prophethood.” In A. Rippin (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Qur?n (Malden: Blackwell 2006), 234-247.

The Origins of the Quran
H. Motzki. “The Collection of the Qur?n: A Reconsideration of Western Views in Light of Recent Methodological Developments.” Der Islam 78 (2001) 1–34.

The Self-Image of the Quran
D. A. Madigan. The Qur’an’s Self-Image: Writing and Authority in Islam’s Scripture. Princeton: Princeton University Press 2001.

The Quran and the Bible
G. S. Reynolds. The Qur’an and its Biblical Subtext. London: Routledge 2010.
Individual Themes
A. Neuwirth. “Mary and Jesus – Counterbalancing the Biblical Patriarchs: A re-reading of surat Maryam in surat al-Imran (Q 3:1-62).” Parole de l’Orient 30 (2005) 231-260.
M. Mir. “Irony in the Qur’an: A Study of the Story of Joseph.” In I. Boullata (ed.), Literary Structures of Religious Meaning in the Qur’an (London: Routledge 2000), 173-185.

The Quran and Islamic Law
K. S. Vikør. Between God and the Sultan: A History of Islamic Law (London: Hurst, 2005), 31-72.

B. R. Stowasser, Women in the Qur'an, Traditions, and Interpretations (Oxford: OUP 1994), chapter 8.

M. H. Katz, Body of Text: The Emergence of the Sunni Law of Ritual Purity (Albany, NY: SUNY 2002), chapters 1 and 2.

A. Rippin. “Tafsir.” Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed. 13:8949-8957.

Texts from the Qur’an in Arabic
Suras 1, 2:125-129.221-252, 4:1-11.34.157, 5:1–11, 9:5.28-31, 19:16-40, 21:48-91, 33:53-59, 56:1-56, 81, 96, 98, 99, 112, 113, 114

Type of assessment
Written assignment
If the student has participated regularly, actively and satisfactorily in a course (cf. article 6.2 in the study plan), she or he may choose between a free and a fixed written examination. A student failing to fulfil these requirements must sit a fixed written exam. In the free written examination, the student writes a paper of between eight and ten pages on a subject, question or material chosen by the student and approved by the responsible teacher. In the fixed written examination, the student is given four days to write a paper of between eight and ten pages on a subject, question or material provided by the responsible teacher. Papers written for both the free and the fixed examination must have the following form:
* A translation into English of a passage of primary text in an ancient language.
* A commentary on this text.
* A discussion of a question of relevance to the theme of the course based both on the translated text and on other parts of the syllabus.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • English
  • 28