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Meeting Program Units

2018 Annual Meeting

Denver, CO

Meeting Begins11/17/2018
Meeting Ends11/21/2018

Call for Papers Opens: 12/18/2017
Call for Papers Closes: 3/6/2018

Requirements for Participation

The Qur’an: Surah Studies (IQSA)


Program Unit Type: Affiliate
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The Surah Studies unit invites proposals for individual papers on any aspect of the five surahs known collectively as al-Musabbihat (Q 57, 59, 61, 62, and 64). Although traditionally considered to be a group, there is a dearth of secondary scholarship on their form, their structural parallels, their implied unity, or indeed their many differences. Barely mentioned in Neuwirth 2010, these five surahs are excluded from analysis altogether in Cuypers 2016, and garner only a small handful of references in Sinai 2017; and yet Paret (in his 1977 Konkordanz) includes a long list of internal parallels and correspondences for these surahs, hitherto uninterpreted, while Bazargan, intriguingly, considers only surahs 57, 61, and 64 of the Musabbihat to be diachronically coherent wholes (Sadeghi 2011). A varied blend of a number of qur'anic genres, encompassing sections of hymnic praise, punishment stories, assertions of the resurrection and the truth of God's message, eschatology, commandment passages, both inter- and intra-community polemics, and references to contemporary events and community practice, the striking similarity of their opening verses nonetheless commands attention. Proposers might also wish to explore the relationship of rhyme to structure, or assess further evidence of the presence of textual borders throughout any or all of the Musabbihat. Presenters might focus on the surahs' use of rhetorical devices, the presence of Leitwörter, the placement of hapax legomena, the use of repetitive lexical patterns, or recurring images. The surahs' distinctive theological concepts--God's Light, for instance, His Balance, or the matter of Divine doubling--might be deemed worthy of individual attention. In sum, proposals are invited on any aspect of the Musabbihat, their reception, their structure, their relative surah-ness, their relationship to other surahs, their composition, their lexicon, their rhetorical features, or their style.

Program Unit Chairs

Marianna Klar
Shawkat Toorawa

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

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For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

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