The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies organized this conference to bring together international scholars working on the Qur'an and its classical commentary tradition (tafsir). Held at Mason on October 23-24, 2010, the conference's participants discussed how new scholarly approaches to the Qur'an and the tafsir tradition have led to an increasing appreciation for the diversity of ways in which the Qur'an has been received and interpreted by Muslims, and the significance of this research for contemporary Muslim understandings of the text. Many of the scholars on the panels have been involved with the Study Qur'an project, a collective editorial effort to provide a new translation of the Qur'an accessible to the English-speaking public.
Panel 1, "Rethinking Tafsir"
Feras Hamza (American University of Dubai), "The Unwritten Tafsir and the Lingering Elusiveness of the Qur'anic Text"
Joseph Lumbard (Brandeis University), "Covenant and Covenantalism in the Qur'an"
Panel 2, "Questions of War and Martyrdom in the Qur'an"
Asma Afsaruddin (Indiana University), "Reading Martydrom in the Qur'an: An Exegetical Survey of Key Verses"
Caner Dagli (College of the Holy Cross), "The Laws of War and Religious Conversion in the Qur'an"
Panel 3, "The Qur'an and Inter-religious Understanding"
Todd Lawson (University of Toronto), "Tafsir and the Meaning of the Qur'an: The Crucifixion in Muslim Thought"
Daniel Madigan (Georgetown University), "Trends in Non-Muslim Readings of the Qur'an"
Keynote Address: Seyyed Hossein Nasr (George Washington University)
Panel 4, "Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on the Qur'an"
Muzaffar Iqbal (Center for Islam and Science), "New Approaches to the Qur'an and Science Nexus"
Mohammed Rustom (Carleton University), "The Word Made Book: Mulla Sadra's Qur'anic Hermeneutics in Context"
Panel 5, "Sufi Perspectives on the Qur'an"
Farhana Mayer (Institute of Ismaili Studies), "Mystical Hermeneutics and Cosmology in the Tafsir Ascribed by the Sufis to Ja'far al-Sadiq"
Kristin Zahra Sands (Sarah Lawrence College), "The Problem of Listless Lovers in al-Qushayri's Lata'if al-Isharat"
Panel 6, "The Qur'an and Contemporary Issues"
Qamar Al-Huda (US Institute of Peace), "Modern Tafsir on Peace-building and Reconciliation in the Qur'an"
Juliane Hammer (George Mason University), "American Muslim Women's Readings of the Qur'an"