IIS Scholar presents at St. John’s College, Oxford University
Dr. Karen Bauer, a Research Associate of the IIS, presented a paper entitled ‘Critique and Change in the Interpretations of the Quranic Verse 4:34’ at the Middle East Graduate Seminar, St. John’s College, Oxford University, on January 21, 2008.
In her talk, Dr. Bauer explored the methods of interpretation as developed by pre-modern interpreters, and contrasted them with their actual practice in interpreting specific verses. As an illustration, she focused on a portion of Quranic verse 4:34, deemed ambiguous by pre-modern exegetes (mufassirun), that deals with an aspect of the relationship between men and women. Because the interpreters disagree about the meaning of the phrase in question, they critique each other’s interpretations, providing a valuable insight into what they consider to be proper methods of interpretation (tafsir).
The talk was well attended and generated a lively discussion on the diverse modes of interpretations of the Quran