The Corpus Coranicum is a long-standing research project at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, under the direction of Prof. Angelika Neuwirth, established in 2007 and currently funded through 2025. Its ultimate goal is the production of a comprehensive commentary on the Qur’an, based on both the textual tradition, especially early manuscripts, and literary passages, including biblical traditions, which shed light on the context of its production. A beta version of the online commentary is now available. One can browse by sura and verse (displayed with a special font, “Coranica”), exploring a facsimile of the associated page(s) in the 1924 Cairo print edition; scanned black-and-white photographs of the associated page(s) in early manuscripts from the archive of G. Bergsträßer, assembled in the 1920s, lost, and sensationally rediscovered in 2008; variant readings; “Texte aus der Umwelt des Korans,” most frequently from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament (the latter given in Greek, not Syriac); and an associated commentary. Of course, this magisterial project is also a massive undertaking, and the final two sections are only available for certain verses. The “Texte aus der Umwelt,” in particular, is a wide-open field, and is currently the subject of intensive research, as evidenced especially by the recent creation of IQSA. As Qur’anic studies rapidly develops, there is no question that Corpus Coranicum will be an essential resource.
Vetus Latina Iohannes, also known as the Verbum Project, is an online, electronic critical edition of the Old Latin Gospel of John from the manuscripts (Patristic citations are not included at this point); it is one of the earliest online DH projects within early Christian studies, founded in 2002. The Verbum Project is housed at the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, under the direction of David Parker. Each of the manuscript witnesses is described, including previous editions and reproductions consulted, as well as notes on the features recorded in the Verbum Project’s transcription. The edition, which is powered by Peter Robinson’s COLLATE software, can be viewed as a synopsis of all manuscript witnesses for a particular verse, or as continuous text from a given manuscript (and optionally, according to page format, which includes features such indentation, justified texts, the obeloi and other marks).
The International Qur’anic Studies Association was founded in 2012 as a three-year consultation within the Society of Biblical Literature, after which it will become an independent, international scholarly organization devoted to the study of the Qur’ān from a variety of perspectives: “it seeks to involve specialists in literature, history, archaeology, paleography, and religious studies.” Biblical studies and Late Antiquity will surely be well represented. As part of its effort to connect with the public, there is already a lively website, including a (short) list of resources, and a promising blog with posts on diverse topics, such as whether or not to translate John Wansbrough’s Qur’anic Studies and the Sectarian Milieu “into English” (!), by the founding directors Emran El-Badawi of the University of Houston and Gabriel Reynolds of Notre Dame, and others. There is also a list of resources, which the viewer can supplement with the rapidly growing website of Mehdi Azaiez, a postdoctoral fellow at Notre Dame: Coran et sciences de l’Homme: histoire, language, lectures.
This is a high-quality author site for Anastasios of Sinai, the seventh-century monk of St. Catherine’s, who has enjoyed a recent surge in scholarly attention, including both critical editions and studies of his witness to a transitional period in Late Antiquity that saw the rise of Islam in the eastern Mediterranean. The site, by Clement Kuehn (with contributions by Joseph Munitiz, S.J.), contains some well-organized, annotated bio-bibliographical information, as well as breathtaking photography of the Sinai region. Continue reading
Museums large and small are not only digitizing their inventories; many now also create permanent websites for special exhibitions. An excellent example of the latter is “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition,” at the Met between March 14 and July 8 2012, one of the best presentations of the material culture of later Late Antiquity, which brought the now widespread academic trend of viewing early Islam within its historical context to a wider audience; Continue reading
The growing field of Christian Arabic studies, which has been especially invigorated by the work of Sidney Griffith, especially The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christians and Muslims in the World of Islam (Princeton, 2008), now enjoys an expanding web presence as well. Given the restricted size of this discipline, The North American Society for Christian Arabic Studies is a professional organization which seems to be based entirely on its website, without membership dues. Still, it has many of the same benefits as dues-based organizations (there are notices of upcoming conferences and events), as well as additional resources, including a large, member-generated bibliography of recent publications, arranged by year and dating back to 2000. Continue reading
This large bibliographical database covers all periods from the Roman Empire to the present. Late Antiquity, with the development of the Christian Holy Land, is well represented. Like the Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity, it is hosted at Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity. The bibliography can be browsed alphabetically by author, year, era (Roman Palestine, Byzantine Palestine, Islamic Period, Crusaders, Mamluk Period, Ottoman Period, and Modernity), or according to a very large number of keywords based on tags for each entry, a feature that offers significant searching power. Continue reading
The personal website of Brannon Wheeler includes a number of interesting resources for early and medieval Islam. There is a collection of pages on the biblical prophets, with a resume of Islamic traditions concerning them, abridged from his study of the Qisas al-anbiya, Prophets in the Quran: An Introduction to the Quran and Muslim Exegesis (Continuum, 2002). Manuscript illuminations are provided for each prophet, though they are not cited – my guess is that they are Persian and Ottoman. An additional section contains pages on the tombs and shrines of prophets, accompanied by photographs of the contemporary site. There is a growing field (though one with an extended and highly contested pedigree) on interconnections between early Islamic, Jewish, and Christian tradition, as evidenced, for example, by the recently announced Society for Qur’anic Studies, the organization of which is to be coordinated initially by the SBL. Continue reading