Qur’anic Commentary: An Integrative Paradigm (QuCIP)
QuCIP is a research project that will deliver groundwork for the first historical-critical commentary on a sizable portion of the Qur’an in English. It focuses on Surahs 1–3 and aims to illustrate an approach that addresses three core dimensions of the Qur’an: its close yet theologically selective engagement with antecedent (Jewish, Christian, and ancient Arabian) concepts and traditions; the complex compositional structure especially of extended Qur’anic compositions like Surahs 2 and 3; and the intricate processes of literary growth and redactional expansion by which the latter have been shaped.
This research project started in October 2018 and is supported by a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council. The research team is led by Professor Nicolai Sinai and made up of eight members, three of whom are Associates at Pembroke.
The first milestone of the project will be an exegetical dictionary of key Qur’anic terms.
Professor Nicolai Sinai
Nicolai Sinai is the Principal Investigator of QuCIP and a Fellow in Arabic at Pembroke College. His published research deals with the literary and historical-critical study of the Qur’an against the background of earlier Jewish, Christian, and Arabian traditions; with pre-modern and modern Islamic scriptural interpretation; and with the history of philosophical and theological thought in the Islamic world. His most recent book is The Qur’an: A Historical-Critical Introduction (Edinburgh 2017) and he is the editor of a forthcoming volume entitled Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an.
Nora K. Schmid
Nora K. Schmid holds a PhD in Arabic Studies from the Free University of Berlin (2018). She has previously occupied research positions in the Corpus Coranicum project (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2007–2012) and in the Collaborative Research Center 980 “Episteme in Motion: Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period” (Free University, 2012–2018). In 2016, she was a Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Harvard University. Her research interests include the Qur’an as a late antique text, Arabic asceticism, and the intellectual and literary traditions of pre-Islamic Arabia. She is a co-editor of the volume Denkraum Spätantike: Reflexionen von Antiken im Umfeld des Koran (Wiesbaden 2016).
Behnam Sadeghi’s research focuses on the history of Islamic thought in areas such as jurisprudence, gender, and theology. He has written a book on philosophy of law: The Logic of Law Making in Islam: Women and Prayer in the Legal Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 2013). He also has publications on the early history of the Qur’an and the Hadith.
Behnam has taught courses on contemporary political Islam, gender, Islamic history and thought, method in the social sciences, social theory, theory in the study of religion, the history of moral theory, and virtue ethics.
Marianna Klar (DPhil, Oxford, 2002) is a researcher at Oxford’s Faculty of Oriental Studies, Senior Research Associate at Pembroke College, Oxford, and Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS. Her most recent publications focus on the Qur’an’s structure, its narratives, and its literary context. She has also worked extensively on tales of the prophets within the medieval Islamic historiographical tradition and on Qur’anic exegesis. Her monograph on al-Thaʿlabī’s Tales of the Prophets was published in 2009. An edited volume, Structural Dividers in the Qur’an, is currently under review.