IIS Publishes An Anthology of Qur'anic Commentaries
The Institute of Ismaili Studies in association with Oxford University Press is pleased to announce the publication of An Anthology of Qur'anic Commentaries - Volume I: On the Nature of the Divine. Edited by Feras Hamza, Sajjad Rizvi and Farhana Mayer, this anthology analyses the works of twenty selected Sunni, Shi‘i, Ibadi, Mu‘tazili and Sufi commentators on six different Qur'anic verses, revealing varied approaches to the scripture and its meaning.
As the book’s introduction notes, there are several works on the topic of Qur'anic commentaries but these do not draw on as “extensive a range of commentaries, both confessionally and historically, as this volume”. The Anthology is a reflection of the plurality of meanings that the Holy Qur'an itself allows for, and which have produced a vast and venerable tradition of diverse interpretations. In their attempts to discern God’s nature, the commentators inevitably introduced their own particular theological concerns into their commentaries. The resulting interpretive plurality shows the role and nature of text-reader interactions in the construction of meaning. Contextual introductions and annotated translations included in the work will allow the book’s reader to follow the genesis of key intellectual debates and religio-political attitudes that are still relevant to the lives of Muslims today.
The Anthology of Qur'anic Commentaries aims to make the reception and interpretation of the Holy Qur'an accessible to anyone interested in cultural and religious studies. The multiple volumes of the Anthology will, collectively, emphasise the historicity of tafsir, the fact that each commentator and commentary is a product of his own time and significantly shaped by the social, political and theological concerns of his day and age. The volumes are designed as a standard reference work and textbook for university courses, and also contribute towards a ‘mapping’ of how ideas, concepts and fields of knowledge have evolved along a fluid history to the present time. In the book's Introduction, there is a valuable discussion of how the anthology can be used in teaching.