Streamed Conference “The Qurʾān and Syriac Christianity: Recurring Themes and Motifs” December 5-7


The study of the Qurʾān in light of pre-Islamic Syrian Christian texts has a long tradition among Western scholars. Indeed, the profound significance of Syriac for a better understanding of the Quran has been a recurring theme in academic exchanges. Still, despite the importance of Syriac, a conference devoted to the relation of the Qurʾān with Syrian Christian traditions has yet to take place. In line with existing scholarship, the conference The Qurʾān and Syriac Christianity: Recurring Themes and Motifs takes stock of this trend while providing new profound insights into the continuities of the Qurʾān with Syriac Christianity.This three-day international conference pioneers in its focus on the relationship between the Qurʾān and pre-Islamic Syriac Christianity. By taking recurring themes and motifs as a starting point, the conference emphasizes differences between the Quran and Syrian Christian traditions as well. As the conference seeks to investigate how the Qurʾān reacts to pre-Islamic Syrian Christian traditions, approaches to be taken and themes to be addressed during the three-day event include:

1. The Qurʾān ‘ s employment and reshaping of themes and motifs known from Syrian Christianity from the advent of Syriac literature to the emergence of East (Nestorian) and West (Jacobite, Miaphysite) Syrian traditions

2. The Qurʾān’s conversation with pre-Islamic West or East Syrian traditions in particular

3. The co-relation of Meccan and Medinan layers of the Qurʾān according to the Nöldekean chronology or its further refinements by Angelika Neuwirth and Nicolai Sinai with West or East Syrian traditions

4. The relationship of the intra-qurʾānic parallels with divergent Syriac traditions

To explore the co-relation of the Quran with Syriac traditions, the conference brings together an international group of specialists in Syriac Christianity, Eastern Christianity, and Semitic Studies more broadly, experts in comparative religions and religious studies, as well as scholars of the Quran , Islamic theology, and Islamic Studies. This wide range of presented fields provides us with an opportunity to analyze the connections of the Qurʾān to pre-Qurʾānic Syrian Christian traditions from different angles and with diverse methodological tools. The conference also serves as a meeting place for early career scholars and established, senior academics.

Research presentations will be streamed online and can be accessed upon pre-registration. To register, please contact Bilal Badat: bilal.badat

The conference is organized by Ana Davitashvili .

Conference posters →

Conference time table →

Conference Abstracts →

IQSA North American Program Book & Annual Report Now Available!

Looking for details on IQSA’s 2022 North American Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion? Find the Denver conference schedule, presenter bios, abstracts, reports, and more in the 2022 Program Book


Find the full SBL/AAR schedule and program book here, and don’t forget to download the mobile/online app to easily access event sessions, speakers, exhibitors, and organizer messages.

Finally, don’t forget to tag #IQSA22 with your posts and pics documenting the meeting – we look forward to another fruitful conference in breathtaking Denver, Colorado!

Reminders & Updates: IQSA Denver Annual Meeting


The IQSA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature is one short week away (November 18-22, 2022)! Please find friendly reminders and updates below as you prepare to present or attend the conference.


Q: Can I still register for the IQSA Annual Meeting?
Active IQSA members can still register for the meeting at full price. Visit the SBL Annual Meeting Page and choose Register as a Member of an Affiliate Organization. Then, complete a New Registration under the Affiliate Members category, and choose International Qur’anic Studies Association when prompted.

Q: How do I attend the IQSA General Reception?
All registered IQSA attendees will receive an email notification with details for the off-site reception on Saturday, November 19 from 7-9pm.

Q: Do I have to be an IQSA member to register for the Annual Meeting?
YES – current IQSA membership is required and verified by staff upon registration. However, SBL/AAR membership is not required to attend the IQSA Annual Meeting. You can renew your IQSA membership HERE.

Q: I already registered for the Annual Meeting as an SBL/AAR member. Do I have to register again as an affiliate to attend IQSA events?
No – duplicate registration is not required to attend IQSA events if one has already registered as an SBL/AAR member. However, you must register as an active IQSA member if you are presenting at an IQSA session.

Q: Where can I find a schedule of events for the Annual Meeting?
Find the IQSA Conference Schedule online, and view the full SBL/AAR Program here. A digital version of the IQSA Annual Meeting Program Book and Annual Report will be available in the coming days!

Q: Does IQSA provide funding or reimbursement for its members to attend the meeting?
At this time, IQSA does not have the resources to provide financial assistance for Annual Meeting registration costs. However, IQSA encourages its members to seek financial aid through institutional grants and other funding.

Q: Where can I find more FAQs regarding the SBL and AAR Meeting & Events?
Find more details at this link!

Q: Should I use the SBL/AAR Mobile App?
A: Absolutely! Using the mobile app or interactive web version will allow you to easily access event sessions, speakers, exhibitors, and organizer messages. When logged in using your registration number, you can personalize your schedule, take notes, share contacts, and more.

This is available for both Android and iOS devices. Please go here for links to download the app from each app store or to access the Online Planner.

Why should you download the Annual Meetings Mobile App prior to arrival?

  • The app is the best and easiest way to find information about the whole meeting, including session times and locations, information about presentations, location of exhibitors, and general information about the meeting.
  • New this year, you can view session with updated information via a search filter. When browsing filter data, tap the filter data, then select “New and Updated Sessions,” then the filter you wish to apply.
  • The app contains easily searchable floor plans of the book exhibit hall, convention center, and meeting hotels. Navigating the meeting has never been easier.
  • We will have onsite programs available, but these were printed in September and many sessions may have changed locations or times. We urge you to download the app and check it for the latest information.

Be sure to add to your email’s allowed senders list to be sure to receive emails, notifications, and invitations from the meeting platform. Presenters should be on the lookout for more information in the coming days about how to upload materials like handout documents, full-text papers, and even pre-recorded videos. While uploading these materials is optional, we encourage presenter to take advantage of these opportunities.

Questions? Email us at We look forward to seeing you in Denver!

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 8 no.5 (2022)

In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 8, no.5), Joseph E. Lowry (University of Pennsylvania) reviews Structural Dividers in the Qur’an edited by Marianna Klar (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021).

structuralIn the review, Lowry writes “More recent efforts in Western scholarship have looked anew at the Qurʾān’s literary structures with both curiosity about and appreciation for their aesthetic, communicative, and compositional dimensions. But the new approaches to form and structure are themselves highly varied and align with some larger tendencies in the field of qurʾānic studies in the West. The editor of the volume under review, Marianna Klar, has offered her own clear-eyed assessment of some recent approaches to the study of qurʾānic structures in two important articles in the Journal of Qur’anic Studies, in which she argued, among other things, that the drive to detect macro- and microsymmetries has led some interpreters to ignore obvious thematic dimensions of the sūrahs they investigate. This is all to say that the edited volume under review, Structural Dividers in the Qur’an (SDIQ), is a timely and welcome—and enlightening—contribution to debates about the Qurʾān’s literary form and how it should be studied…”

Want to read more? For full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), members can log in HERE. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!


© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2022. All rights reserved.

New OA Publication: “Creating the Qur’an”

Looking for open access resources to enhance your study of the Qur’an? Check out the recently published Creating the Qur’an: A Historical-Critical Study (University of California Press, 2022) by IQSA member, Stephen J. Shoemaker (Professor and Ira E. Gaston Fellow in Christian Studies, University of Oregon).

coverCreating the Qur’an presents the first systematic historical-critical study of the Qur’an’s origins, drawing on methods and perspectives commonly used to study other scriptural traditions. Demonstrating in detail that the Islamic tradition relates not a single attested account of the holy text’s formation, Stephen J. Shoemaker shows how the Qur’an preserves a surprisingly diverse array of memories regarding the text’s early history and its canonization. To this he adds perspectives from radiocarbon dating of manuscripts, the linguistic history of Arabic, the social and cultural history of late ancient Arabia, and the limitations of human memory and oral transmission, as well as various peculiarities of the Qur’anic text itself. Considering all the relevant data to present the most comprehensive and convincing examination of the origin and evolution of the Qur’an available, Shoemaker concludes that the canonical text of the Qur’an was most likely produced only around the turn of the eighth century.

Fred M. Donner, Peter B. Ritzma Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago, notes “Stephen Shoemaker leaves no significant aspect of the debate over the Qur’an’s origin and evolution unexamined. His book is a milestone in Qur’anic studies. It is, simply put, the most comprehensive and convincing examination of this subject available. Everyone in the field will have to read it.”

View this book for free online today!

National Italian PhD Programme on Religious Studies: Call for Applications

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The call for applications to the National Italian PhD Programme on Religious Studies is now open. Launched by 31 universities and research centers in Italy, the program offers 43 positions in 23 cities on the following areas:

  1. Buddhism and religions of Asia
  2. Christianity
  3. Islam
  4. Judaism
  5. Law and Religion
  6. Transdisciplinarity and Technological Frontier Research

The Program is ready to welcome applications and agreements with other PhD Schools outside Italy for international cooperation and exchange.

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The application deadline is August 25th. Visit to find all the information regarding the Doctoral School and the link to the call.

Content courtesy of Francesca Badini, PhD Candidate (Biblioteca Giorgia La Pira)

Register NOW for Denver Early Bird Rates


Looking to save on registration rates for this year’s IQSA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings in Denver, Colorado from November 18-21, 2022? Register as an Affiliate Member HERE before early bird rates end on July 29th! All presenters, panel members, and other attendees MUST register to attend the Annual Meeting. 

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Please note that registration for the Denver meeting is not linked to registration for the IQSA Meeting in Palermo. 

Questions? Contact us via email! We look forward to seeing you in Denver.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2022. All rights reserved.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 8 no.4 (2022)


In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 8, no.2), Holger Zellentin (University of Tübingen) reviews Simon P. Loynes’ Revelation in the Qur’an: A Semantic Study of the Roots n-z-l and wḥ-y (Leiden: Brilll, 2021).

revIn the review, Zellentin writes “Simon P. Loynes’s monograph, Revelation in the Qur’an, is based on a 2019 PhD dissertation at the University of Edinburgh. In an introduction and six chapters, Loynes argues that the qurʾānic roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y need to be more carefully distinguished than many translators and commentators tend to do…Loynes’ argument is simple only on the surface, yet the implications of this study for our understanding of the Qurʾān are profound, inviting a careful reconsideration of the Qurʾān’s concept of divine revelation. The volume’s argument is largely compelling, the scholarship flawless, the scope concise, and the presentation impeccable. Some epigraphic and comparative philological considerations, however, are left unexplored, and the study leaves me wanting to learn a bit more about the pagan Arabian as well as the Jewish and Christian context of the Qurʾān’s concepts of Scripture and divine communication…”

Want to read more? For full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), members can log in HERE. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2022. All rights reserved.

International Conference: Epigraphy, the Qur’an, and the Religious Landscape of Arabia


Official_Poster_Epigraphy_ConferenceThe University of Tübingen Qur’an as a Source for Late Antiquity Research Project team announces “Epigraphy, the Qur’an, and the Religious Landscape of Arabia” to be held September 8–10, 2022. This three-day international conference will bring together specialists in epigraphy as well as scholars of the Qurʾān with the aim of exploring how recent epigraphic and archaeological findings and research have been changing our understanding of the Qurʾān and the Arabian religious, cultural, and political landscape.

A wide range of archaeological finds is rapidly expanding our knowledge of the pre-Islamic cultural milieu and the political structures of the Arabian Peninsula during Late Antiquity, and thereby of the Qur’ān’s cultural context. This material can offer a complementary reading to the literary accounts on pre-Islamic Arabia, which were mostly composed outside Arabia, or long after the late antique period. Accordingly, the conference seeks to integrate new archaeological finds with ongoing studies on the genesis of the Qur’ān, its Arabian background, and the broader cultural milieu of pre-Islamic Arabia with a special focus on “late” Late Antiquity at the dawn of Islam. Themes to be addressed include, but are not limited to:

  1. Religious Identities and Religious Landscape
  2. Naming God in pre-Islamic Arabia
  3. Ethnicity and literacy
  4. Cultic continuity

Bearing in mind the fluidity of identities and traditions during Late Antiquity, we also accommodate papers that do not fall into these exact categories. We believe there is a growing need to make the recent exciting discoveries of scholars working on the Qur’ān and Arabia more widely accessible to historians who may not have a solid background in archaeology and epigraphy. Aiming to foster discussion between scholars, each panel will be paired with a specialist on the Qur’ān or on the wider history of Arabia.

The research presentations will be open to the public upon timely pre-registration and streamed online.

For registration, please contact Dr. Bilal Badat:

See the Conference Poster and Online Program here.

Last Day to Register with Early Bird Rates!

A friendly reminder to register for IQSA’s 2022 Annual Meeting in Palermo, Italy today before rates increase tomorrow! This meeting takes place in person from September 5-7, 2022, hosted by the Giorgio La Pira Library and Research Centre (Palermo, Italy).

Conference registration fees are structured as follows:

  • Registration by the end of June: 140 $
  • Registration by the end of July: 180 $
  • Registration in August and September: 220 $

Students and residents of the Global South will receive 50% discount on the proposed fees.

View the event registration page

Participants are required to register for the conference online.

Any questions concerning practicalities of the conference in Palermo should be addressed to Francesca Badini ( and concerning registration and payment should go to

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2022. All rights reserved.