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9 to 11 March 2020 – Workshop : The Latin Qur’an, 1143-1500: translation, transmission, interpretation

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Sala de Graus de la Facultat de Filosofia i LletresThis workshop will examine the range of medieval Latin transmission of the Qur’an and reaction to the Qur’an by concentrating on the manuscript traditions of medieval Qur’an translations and anti-Islamic polemics in Latin.
More information here.

Mercredi 18 décembre 2019 – Journée d’études : Le Coran Byzantin


Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Ange Guépin – Salle B, 5 allée Jacques Berque, 44000 Nantes – Page de l’Université de Nantes

Au VIIIe ou au IXe siècle, un auteur anonyme produisit une traduction grecque du Coran : probablement la première traduction du Coran.  Cette traduction fut utilisée au IXe siècle par un certain Niketas de Byzance pour composer une « réfutation du Coran ». Manolis Ulbricht, dont la thèse récente présente une édition et analyse de cette traduction, la  placera dans son contexte historique de rivalité entre Byzance et le Califat Abbasside.  L’après-midi, consacré aux recherches en cours de doctorants, adressera le contexte de la réception du Coran et de l’Islam dans les sociétés chrétiennes orientales des premiers siècles de l’ère musulman.

Cette journée d’études s’inscrit dans le cadre du programme de recherche  “The European Qur’an. Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion 1150-1850” (EuQu) qui a reçu une bourse « Synergy Grant » du Conseil européen de la recherche pour 6 ans.

Coran : le regard des historiens

Comment l’interprétation des textes coraniques a-t-elle changé au cours du temps ? Que peut nous dire l’histoire des évolutions de ce texte central de l’Islam ?

Emission sur France Culture 21/11/2019 – Video or podcast

Avec :

  • Guillaume Dye, islamologue, professeur à l’Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), co-directeur avec Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi du “Coran des Historiens” (éditions du Cerf) qui recense les travaux de trente spécialistes du Cora
  • Muriel Debié, professeur des universités, directrice d’études à l’École Pratique des Hautes Études/PSL, où elle est titulaire de la chaire Christianismes orientaux, collaboratrice du “Coran des historiens”.
  •  Kahina Bahloul, islamologue et première femme imame en France.

29 Nov 19: ERC funding seminar at Madrid

Alice Xenia Rajewnsky, Head of Social Sciences and Humanities at the ERC, will be speaking at a seminar organised by Professor Mercedes Garcia-Arenal.







September 2019

Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

On the trail of Islam’s journeys to Iberia: EuQu featured on the Moroccan webite Yabiladi. Read the article here




August 2019

John Tolan, one of the 4 Pricipal Investigators of the “European Qur’an” (EuQu) Projet was at the fourth biennial international meeting of IQSA which took place in Tangier, Morocco in July 25-26, 2019. The theme of this year’s meeting, “Reading the Qur’an in the Context of Empire,” provided a broad framework for vastly disparate perspectives, from the late antique world to the age of European colonialism and beyond. Over two days, the meeting gathered scholars from at least 14 different countries and very productive debates from the rich conversations took place in English, Arabic, and French. The report of the proceedings is available here

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July 2019

IQSA International Qur’an Conference 2019

John Tolan will be attending the International Qur’an Conference at the Tangier Global Forum.

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) organises its third biennial conference from July 25-26, 2019, hosted by the Tangier Global Forum of the University of New England, Tangier, Morocco.

The main theme of the conference is Reading the Qur’an in the Context of Empire.
Read the programme here

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Call for Papers – International Conference: The Qur’an in its Milieu of Origin. Possibilities of the Historical Reconstruction of the Qur’anic Revelation“, 08-10 November 2019, Münster, Germany

The Center for Islamic Theology Muenster is pleased to announce the international round-table conference which will be held on 08-10 November 2019 in Muenster, Germany. It will be organized in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence of the University of Muenster. The call for papers is dedicated to all researchers of the Qur’an working especially on themes regarding the Historical reconstruction of the Qur’an. For further information on the conference and the application process please view the full call here

Application deadline is 31 July 2019.

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EuQu Principal Investigator Mercedes Garcia Arenal of CSIC awarded “Premio Nacional de Investigación”

The National Research Awards, created in 1982 and granted by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities are the most important recognition in Spain in the field of scientific research.

Mercedes García-Arenal is a religious and cultural historian. She has a PhD in Arabic and Islam from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid (1976). She was a post-doctoral fellow in the London School of Oriental and African Studies (1976-1978). She was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1988-89). Currently she is a Research Professor at the Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterraneo, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Madrid. She has been principal investigator of the ERC Advanced Grant CORPI (“Conversion, Overlapping Religiosities, Polemics and Interaction: Early Modern Iberia and Beyond”) (2013-2019) and is now Coordinator of the Synergy Grant EuQu, “The European Qur`an” (2019-2024). Her research focuses on the religious history of Iberia and the Muslim West, mainly on religious minorities: conversion, polemics, messianism, religious dissidence, and dissimulation. She has focused on the impulses of assimilation and rejection by mainstream societies of religious minorities such as Muslims and converted Muslims in Iberia and Jews in North Africa, in interreligious polemics as producer of doubt and skepticism. Much of her research is based on Inquisition documentation. She also addresses questions of Orientalist scholarship in Early Modern Spain, in which an interest in Oriental languages, mainly Arabic, was linked to important historiographical questions, such as the uses and value of Arabic sources, and the problem of the integration of al-Andalus within a providentialist history of Spain.

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Muhammad Was An Anticlerical Hero Of The European Enlightenment

Image credit: InnerSelf

Discover the latest article written by Dr John Tolan:

“Publishing the Quran and making it available in translation was a dangerous enterprise in the 16th century, apt to confuse or seduce the faithful Christian. This, at least, was the opinion of the Protestant city councillors of Basel in 1542, when they briefly jailed a local printer for planning to publish a Latin translation of the Muslim holy book. The Protestant reformer Martin Luther intervened to salvage the project: there was no better way to combat the Turk, he wrote, than to expose the ‘lies of Muhammad’ for all to see.”

Read article (English)

Read article (Arabic)

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EuQu Recruitment

EuQu is recruiting a Postdoctoral researcher: Translations and commentaries on the Qur’an in European History Faculty of Humanities – Amsterdam School of Historical Studies.

The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the ERC-funded Synergy Project The European Qur’an. Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion 1150-1850 (EuQu), at the UvA led by prof. Gerard Wiegers. ASH is one of the six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. Applications are invited from excellent candidates who wish to conduct research on Translations and Commentaries on the Quran in European History between the Early Modern Period and the Nineteenth Century. View the full advertisement here


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In this short video (in Spanish), Professor Mercedes García-Arenal from the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near East (Madrid), and PI of the ERC Synergy Grant project “The European Qur’an” explains her research and makes the link between our EuQu ERC project and Europe today and how EuQu can help understand the current stakes of Europe.


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Researcher Mercedes García-Arenal appointed to the scientific committee of the European Research Council


Professor Mercedes García-Arenal, Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near East (Madrid) and Principal Investigator of ERC Synergy Grant “The European Qur’an” has been appointed to the governing body of the European Research Council (ERC).

The European Commission has appointed six eminent scientists and scholars to the governing body of the ERC, the Scientific Council. It has also renewed the mandates of three current members. All new members have been selected by an independent Identification Committee and the scientific community was consulted in this process. Read the full story here

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EuQu Recruitement

Spanish speaking digital humanities position at CSIC, Madrid

The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (Spain) is recruiting a Spanish speaking expert in Digital Humanities for work on the project “The European Qur’an: Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion (1150-1850)” (EuQu).
View the full advertisement here

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New publication by John Tolan  Faces of Muhammad Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today

Heretic and impostor or reformer and statesman? The contradictory Western visions of Muhammad.

In European culture, Muhammad has been vilified as a heretic, an impostor, and a pagan idol. But these aren’t the only images of the Prophet of Islam that emerge from Western history. Commentators have also portrayed Muhammad as a visionary reformer and an inspirational leader, statesman, and lawgiver. In Faces of Muhammad, John Tolan provides a comprehensive history of these changing, complex, and contradictory visions. Starting from the earliest calls to the faithful to join the Crusades against the “Saracens,” he traces the evolution of Western conceptions of Muhammad through the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and up to the present day. Read more 

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June 2019

Interview with Mercedes García-Arenal

On 24th of June 2019, Mercedes García-Arenal, one of the PIs of EuQu Project, was interviewed on Radio Circulo de Bellas Artes. You can listen to the interview on the CBA website or listen to the podcast here

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John Tolan in Le Monde reviews ‘The Koran a plural history’ by Francis Deroche

Read the article here

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Workshop: “The Study of Written Artefacts in Spain: The MEDhis Consortium” on 20-21 June at the CSMC in Hamburg

Mercedes García-Arenal (ILC-CSIC) one of the Principal Investigators of the EuQu project will lecture on “The Qur ́an in Western Culture:  The ERC Synergy Project The European Qur’an”. Fernando Rodríguez-Mediano and Katarzyna K. Starczewska (ILC-CSIC) and Maribel Fierro, also members of EuQu, will also participate in the conference.

Full details here

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