MIDEAST 322 - The Qur'an and Its Interpretations
Fall 2020, Section 002
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary, although some knowledge of the Bible would be helpful.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Islam’s sacred scripture, the Qur’an, is the primary repository of the beliefs, values, ritual actions, and symbols of Islam. To a lesser or greater degree, it is present in the lives of over 1.6 billion people worldwide. For practicing Muslims, it is the primary guide in life and source of identity. It also effects the actions and mindset of less religiously committed individuals of Muslim background, not to mention converts to Islam. We will examine the history, structure, and contents of the Qur’an as a text/scripture and the major source of Muslim faith and practice, paying special attention to the manifold ways in which it has been received, understood, interpreted, and disputed by Muslims for over 1,400 years now. After familiarizing ourselves with the history of the Qur’an’s composition, literary features, and major themes, we will explore how it has shaped the lives and thought of Muslims since its inception until today. Among the themes discussed are the aural/musical, devotional, social, and material dimensions of the Qur’an, issues of its translation into other languages, and debates over its interpretation and the authority (credentials) necessary to interpret it.

Course Requirements:

  1. Two short essays (4-5 pp. each): 15% each; 30% overall.
  2. One mid-term exam (essays/commentaries on Qur’anic passages and ID’s): 20%.
  3. A take-home final exam (questions and commentaries on two Qur’anic passages): 30%.
  4. Attendance and participation in discussion, 20%. Of these, up to 10% will be based on a class presentation prepared by students on a topic of their choosing or one assigned by the instructor.

    Intended Audience:

    Upper level undergraduates with an interest in religions and holy texts (scriptures)

    Class Format:

    Two 90-minute meetings weekly, consisting of instructor's presentations and discussions of related readings and films


MIDEAST 322 - The Qur'an and Its Interpretations
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
002 (LEC)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM

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