Collegium Coranicum at the Staatsbibliothek – Lecture by Stefan Weidner

As part of our Summer School „Qur’anic manuscripts, past and present: cataloging and digital tools“ in cooperation with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Corpus Coranicum) and the Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation (London), a public evening lecture will take place.

Conflicting Perceptions: A Journey through Modern (Mis-)Readings of the Qurʾān

When: Wednesday 20th September 2023 at 6:00 PM CEST

Where: Humboldt-Saal, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 8

Small Reception

Colonialism and the advent of printing have given rise to a multitude of contexts and potential interpretations of the Qurʾān. Drawing on literary history and personal experiences German writer and Arabist Stefan Weidner illuminates some of the more striking examples of the Qurʾān’s colonial and postcolonial perceptions in both East and West. These examples range from its comparison to the Upanishads in Mughal India to its transformation into an anti-modern manifesto in 20th-century German poetry. Since the advent of printing, the Qurʾān has assumed multiple identities, and the results of this transformation are both exhilarating and dangerous. Understanding the diverse interpretations that the Qurʾān has acquired in contemporary, postmodern, and non-Muslim contexts is crucial. Without this awareness, explaining its significance in late antiquity, obtaining broader recognition for its original meaning and influence, and effectively communicating the findings from research into early Qurʾānic manuscripts will prove challenging.

Stefan Weidner is a German writer, translator, and literary critic. He has translated, among others, Adonis, Mahmoud Darwish, Badr Shakir as-Sayyab and Ibn al-Arabi’s “Tardjumān al-ashwāq“ for which he was awarded the Sheikh Hamad Prize (Qatar) 2018. From 2001 until the 2016 he was
editor-in-chief of Fikrun wa Fann/Art&Thought journal. He has been a guest-professor at several universities, including of Berlin (FU), Bonn, Cologne, and Münster, where he conducted a seminar on German translations of the Qurʾān. His lastest books include: „Jenseits des Westens“ (to be published in Arabic by Mominoun bila Hudud as „Mā wara’ al-gharb“); “1001 Buch. Die Literaturen des Orients“ (shortlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in Abu Dhabi 2020); and “Ground Zero. 9/11 und die Geburt der Gegenwart“, published in Arabic by Manshūrāt al-Djamal in June 2023.

Registration is requested.

If you would like to follow the lecture online, please contact the secretariat of the Oriental Department at the following email address: You will receive the link to in due time before the event starts.

The event is also part of the lecture series Collegium Coranicum (37) of the BBAW.

2 Kommentare
  1. Avatar
    Assia Soltani sagte:

    Dear organizers,
    kindly register 2 persons for participation in above mentioned event in presence. Thank you!


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