Studying the Qur’an in English

I’m very pleased to announce that, this fall, I’ll be teaching a section of Arabic 467R (“Topics in Middle East Studies”) devoted to the Qur’an at Brigham Young University.

In this particular course, which will be taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00  to 5:15 PM, a knowledge of Arabic will not be required.  (I teach a course on reading the Qur’an bi-al-‘Arabi during winter terms now.)  We’ll be reading and discussing the Qur’an in English.  (Don’t worry.  I understand and will discuss the limits, theological and practical, of reading the Qur’an in translation.  Technically, according to Muslim belief, it’s not even possible — which is a richly instructive fact in and of itself.)

Given the importance of Muslims and Islam in current events, as well as their vital role in world history and culture overall — and granted the absolute centrality of the Qur’an to Islam and the life of Muslims — the value of better understanding the Qur’an seems quite obvious.

"Religion poisons everything!" (13)
"Gravitational 'slingshot' may have flung galaxies far, far away"
"Let your memory be your travel bag."
The Economist: "Utah: Young, Tolerant, and Surprising"