ENG300 - Quranic Hermeneutics Understanding Contextual Applications through Controversial Quran Verses.

Course Design
"Discussions of classical and modern writings on Qur'anic hermeneutics."

This course will be a seminar discussion of classical and modern writings on Qur'anic hermeneutics, culminating in a paper in which each student responds to some of those writings and advances his or her own constructive hermeneutical proposal. The first part of the course will deal with the hermeneutical dimensions of several classical Islamic discourses, especially legal theory (usul al-fiqh). The second part of the course will deal with modern hermeneutical theories.


1) Terminology, form and contents

2) History of the text, variant readings

3) Major topics in the Qur'an

4) Key suras and verses

5) Classical exegesis

6) Modern exegesis

7) Presentation of projects

8) The Qur'an and Islamic law

9) Controversial issues in the Qur'an: women, treatment of non-Muslims, capital punishments

10) The historical context - the relation of the Qur'an to Jewish and Christian traditions

What is Hermeutics?

Qur'anic hermeneutics is the study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book. Throughout religious history, Qur'anic scholars have sought to mine the wealth of its meanings by developing a variety of different systems of hermeneutics.

Threshold Concepts
"Words Get Their Meanings from Other Words"

Threshold concepts are core standards that help writers and readers understand between literacy concepts and content that go beyond just writing. These core concepts once understood gives clear insight on any particular subject. Threshold concepts delve into critical thinking skills and prior knowledge. These concepts once learned are not unlearned.

The Threshold concept most associated with this course is, "Words Get Their Meanings from Other Words" by Dylan B. Dryer. We will be looking at the Quran only instead of getting references from other texts. The other texts used in this course is designed with only the Quran in mind. As described by Dryer, "this threshold concept is best illustrated with an example of how a particular word is defined and understood" (23).


For example, we will learn arabic vocabulary such as the word: Jihad. Which means struggle/striving/persevering to be a better muslim spiritually but to most non-muslims, they think it means holy war. Also, we will learn other Quranic verses and terms which could seem controversial. Such as the concepts and principles studied on contemporary issues (women, tolerance, and environment) to assess the relevance of modern interpretations.


Students will use the concepts and principles studied to analyze selected Quranic text and to evaluate the relevance of some pieces of exegetical (tafsir) literature and modern translations.

Open for All faiths and majors.

This course is open to all faiths and majors. It is for anyone who wishes to seek more knowledge on Islam and the Quran. Knowing Arabic is not required as there will be introductory lessons in the first few weeks.

Short Video Explanation on why Tafsir is important.
By: Henna Ahmed
Created By
Henna Ahmed


Created with images by kaheel7 - "holy quran islam" • stevepb - "books student study" • nevil zaveri (thank you for 10 million+ views :) - "@ sarkhej roza, ahmedabad" • SJTUK - "granada alhambra generalife" • fidber - "la mosquée bleue (détails)" • sfalvi - "Selling Now: Oil Painting on Canvas" • chidioc - "kid praying muslim" • stux - "mosque ritueller place islam" • Aih. - "۞ رمضــان كريـم" • Cea. - "Anonymous - The Throne Verse (Ayat Al-Kursi) in the form of a calligraphic horse (India, Deccan, Bijapur) - 16th century - Detail" • mcvalosborne - "alhambra mosaic pattern"

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