Quranic Studies: Staff and Research

Research seminars and exploratory workshops are crucial tools for engaging the interest and skills of specialist scholars. They provide a forum in which topics of interest, within the field of Qur’anic studies, may be discussed and out of which new ideas and proposals for future research may emerge. Qur’anic Studies regularly organises workshops and seminars.

Currently, Qur’anic Studies has seven full time researchers, each with wide-ranging interests.

Dr Omar Alí-de-Unzaga
Research interests: Epistles of the Pure Brethren (Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa), for which a book is in progess; interaction between philosophy and the interpretation of the Qur'an between the tenth and eleventh centuries; Isma'ili ta'wil.

Dr Nuha Al Sha’ar
Research interests: Political Islamic thought and ethics, with particular focus on the fourth century AH under the Buyid period; Contemporary Islamic thought.

Dr Karen Bauer
Research interests: Islamic intellectual and social history, particularly gender studies and the interpretation of the Qur’aninfo-icon; tracing, contextualizing, and historicising debates in Qur’an commentaries; analysing how genre boundaries, audience, and context (both social and intellectual) affect the style and content of texts.

Dr Stephen Burge
Research interests: The study of angels in Islam, focusing on their roles in the Qur’an and the Hadithinfo-icon; the great fifteenth century polymath, Jalal al-Dininfo-icon al-Suyuti (d. 911/1505); popular religion; the relationships between Judaism, Christianity and Islam; comparative philology; lexicography and codicology.

Dr Alessandro Cancian
Research Interests: the intellectual history of Shi'ism, Shi'i Sufims in early modern times, the anthropology of Islam, Shi'ism and modern Iran.

Dr Asma Hilali
Research Interests: The transmission of religious texts, Qur’an and hadith and “intermediary genres” during the first six centuries of Islam, the elaboration of the hadith sciences in the 4th/10th century and the canonisation of the religious genres, the transformation of the religious texts and the institutions of transmission (of knowledge “Ilminfo-icon”) between the 4th/10th and the 6th/12th century.

Dr Toby Mayer
Research interests: Currently translating Sayyidinfo-icon Haydar Amuli’s al-Muhit al-A’zam, a remarkable, mystical commentary on the Qur’an which combines the Sufisminfo-icon of Ibn ‘Arabi with Twelver Shi’ism; also working on the major Sufi commentary associated with the early masters of the Kubrawi order, the Ta’wilat Najmiyya.