This course explores tafsīr literature from the classical period to modernity. Students will investigate the evolution of Qur’ān commentary, the sub-genres of tafsīr literature, the biographies of some great scholars of Qur’ān commentary and their methodologies. Selected verses of the Qur’ān will be read with commentaries about the following topics: God’s existence and attributes, determinism, sin and divine mercy, prophethood and Muhammad, Jesus and Mary, heaven and hell, war and peace, Sharī’a and politics, pluralism, men and women, etc. Knowledge of Arabic is not required but several texts unavailable in English will be translated orally during this course and students knowing Arabic will be invited to read them in the original language. A basic knowledge about Islamic theology and the history of Muslim societies would be useful.
If you are not enrolled in a degree program but wish to register for this course, use the Online Registration for Special Students and Auditors.
Winter/Spring 2014 & Fall 2015