Book Talk: Qur'anic Stories: God, Revelation and the Audience

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  Tuesday, November 2, 2021
  12 - 1:30 p.m.
  Online via Zoom (register for link)
  Dr. Leyla Ozgur Alhassen, UCB Middle Eastern Cultures and Languages Visiting Scholar

Book Talk: Qur’ānic Stories: God, Revelation and the Audience (Edinburgh University Press, 2021).

Leyla Ozgur Alhassen will discuss her book, what brought her to her research and its major contributions. In this book, Ozgur Alhassen approaches the Qur’an as a literary, religious and oral text that affects its audience. She looks at how Qur’anic stories function as narrative: how characters and dialogues are portrayed; what themes are repeated; what verbal echoes and conceptual links are present; what structure is established; and what beliefs these narrative choices strengthen. And she argues that in the Qur’an, some narrative features that are otherwise puzzling can be seen as instances in which God, as the narrator, centres himself while putting the audience in its place. In essence, this makes the act of reading an interaction between God and the audience. Qur’anic Stories demonstrates that a narratological and rhetorical approach to the canonised text can contribute new insights to our understanding of the Qur’an and its worldview.

Dr. Leyla Ozgur Alhassen is a Qur'anic studies scholar. She is the author of Qur'anic Stories: God, Revelation and the Audience. Her scholarship revolves around Qur’anic stories, style and interpretation in literature, performance, and art, across historical periods, languages, and disciplinary boundaries. She is the author of a forthcoming book, Repetition in Qur'anic Stories (Oxford University Press), and is also working on a book on hierarchies of beings in the Qur'ān. Ozgur Alhassen is the author of: “A Narratological Analysis of the Story of Ibrāhīm in the Qur’ān: Faith, Family, Parents and Ancestors” (Religion and Literature 2019); “Islam and Iconoclasm: Ibrāhīm and the Destruction of Idols in the Qur’ān” (Religion and the Arts 2019); “‘You Were Not There,’ The Creation of Humility and Knowledge in Qur’ānic Stories: A Rhetorical and Narratological Analysis” (Comparative Islamic Studies 2017); “Behçet Kemal Çağlar’s Kur’ân-ı Kerim’den İlhamlar (Inspirations from the Holy Qur’ān): A Kemalist’s Personal, Poetic Response to the Qur’ān” (The Muslim World 2017); and “A Structural Analysis of Sūrat Maryam Q. 19:1-58” (Journal of Qur’anic Studies 2016). She has a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
340 Stephens Hall, Berkeley, CA  94720-2314



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