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Conférence MESA (18-21 novembre 2010)

Conférence MESA (18-21 novembre 2010)

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Presentation de la Conférence

The MESA 2010 program includes 228 sessions that are scheduled in 12 panel time slots, beginning Thursday, November 18 at 5:00pm and ending on Sunday, November 21 at 3:30pm. The Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony will be held Friday, November 19 beginning at 7:00pm. The online, searchable program is always the most up-to-date and reflects changes to the program as they are made in the system. The preliminary program documents below are static documents that reflect the program/meeting as of July 29, 2010. The final printed program and addendum will be circulated at the meeting.


PROGRAMME : intitulés des 3 panels consacrés au Coran

1. [P2379] Qur’an Studies: Between Text and Interpretation (Sunday, 11/21/10 01:30pm)

This panel seeks to explore recent developments concerning two dimensions of Qur’an Studies: Text and Interpretation. Text refers to the examination of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition and Interpretation refers to the
context of the Qur’an and its exegetical commentaries. Two papers will be delivered exploring the first dimension and three papers for the second.

The first paper of this panel is a textual criticism of Q 14:35-41, which is examined in 17 Qur’an manuscripts spanning the first four centuries of Islam. The paper surveys the different variants found in these sources. The second paper examines an early Qur’an manuscript from the Sana’a collection where there appears to be an omission in Q 9:80. After a textual examination of this
omission, it is subjected to an hermeneutical and intertextual inquiry with Jewish and Christian literature. The third paper of this panel defines the term "islam" in the Qur’an as "prophetic tradition" and situates it in the sectarian world of the Late Antique Near East. By adducing evidence from mainly the Hebrew Bible and Syriac Christian literature, the paper argues that prophetic tradition in the Qur’an represents the religious revival and re-consolidation much sought by Syriac speaking churches in the 6th century CE. The fourth paper explores Qurtubi’s tafsir and its use of "qisas al-anbiya’" in the Qur’an. The fifth paper explores the role of Eve in Qur’anic Exegesis and its Judeo-Christian and Mediterranean context.

The panel aims to bring together the two otherwise disparate subfields of textual criticism and Qur’an manuscripts on the one hand and qur’anic exegeses on the other. The link between the two is principally achieved through the transition from the second paper to the third, both of which look to Jewish and Christian literature to answer questions about the Qur’an’s text and interpretation respectively. This makes the panel relevant to a wider audience including scholars and students of Islamic, Christian, Jewish and Late Antique Studies.

2. [P2555] Qur’anic Hermeneutics (Sunday, 11/21/10 08:30am)

Pas de résumé

3. [P2434] The Qur’an and the Other : Soteriological Debates and Their Global Implications (Saturday, 11/20/10 11:00am)

"What does the Qur’an say about the soteriological status of Others, those who do not affirm the Shahadah? This, in its various forms, is an oft-asked question, and one that has frequently evoked one-dimensional responses. While it may initially be framed in theological terms, how this question is answered has profound practical implications for some of our most pressing international, and indeed, global challenges. It is therefore hardly trivial that recent years have witnessed an increasing number of popular works that present the matter in black and white.

Complicating matters for the serious inquirer is the fact that there is a lacuna in the Western study of Islam when it comes to soteriology. Yet, nearly fourteen centuries since Islam’s inception, this remains a topic over which Muslim scholars spill considerable ink. And rightfully so: salvation is arguably the major theme of the Qur’an. While there has long been a general agreement among Muslim theologians and exegetes that some will rejoice in Paradise while others will suffer in Hell, Islamic history has witnessed intense debates over who exactly will rejoice and who will suffer. And these debates have often spilled over into the realm of politics.

As such, we are arranging a long overdue panel that addresses the pressing topic at hand from an academic standpoint. Our panelists represent a diversity of scholarly viewpoints and approaches. The first paper examines how a "hermeneutics of moderation" that emphasizes deeds over religious affiliation - as articulated by certain exegetes - serves as an alternative to the popular view that salvation in a post-Muhammadan world is available only to Muslims (with a capital M). The second paper looks at how classical Islamic thought has downplayed the Qur’an’s ostensibly pluralistic passages for the sake of affirming Islamic supersession. The third paper surveys classical soteriological doctrines regarding the fate of Others, and assesses whether the contemporary pluralist project has misrepresented Islamic scripture for the sake of promoting interfaith harmony. The fourth paper examines how an emerging "Muslima [with an a] theology of religious pluralism" problematizes the often monolithic assessments of the Qur’an’s portrayal of Others, and how this approach might lead to new readings. The fifth paper explores medieval and modern theological and exegetical views on praying for Others after death, and their implications for pluralistic understandings of soteriology. It is our hope that these papers will inspire fruitful discussion and debate.

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