Academic Programs 

Readings in the Qur’an II: Surat Yusuf    (LG-691)
Winter/Spring 2010

The Qur’anic story of Yusuf is the longest continuous narrative of a prophetic figure in Islamic scripture. The story will be read in the original, analyzed, and discussed over the course of the semester to develop linguistic facility in the grammar and vocabulary of classical Arabic, including reading the text out loud. Students will thus deepen their appreciation of the aesthetic qualities of the Qur’an in the original. Class participation will aid in understanding Qur’anic teachings through a direct encounter with the text and by a consideration of some of Yusuf’s points of contact with the story of Joseph as found in the Book of Genesis. Student study and research that brings out Muslim reflections on the surah as found in tafsir is encouraged.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:15 p.m. - 4:25 p.m., beginning Jan. 25

Steven Blackburn
Faculty Associate in Semitic Scriptures

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9560


Course Syllabus

Textbook: Al-Qur’an al-Karim (students may bring their own copy; photocopies of the surah will be provided upon request).

Dictionary (recommended but not required): Dictionary and Glossary of the Kor-an, by John Penrice. This dictionary is available in the Seminary Bookstore.

(The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Standard Arabic, J M. Cowan, editor, is not as targeted in its coverage, but provides a reasonable substitute for Penrice. It is available in the Seminary Bookstore).

Student work will be weighted as follows for the final semester grade:

Class Participation - 25%
In-Class Presentation - 25%
Term Paper - 25%
Final Exam - 25%

For the In-Class Presentation students will teach the class for one session, with input and comment from the professor. This will not occur until after Reading Week (March 29 – April 4).

The paper is on any topic approved by the professor. Possible themes would be the relation of the Qur’anic and Biblical stories of this prophet, a discussion of classical and / or modern mufassiriin on the surah, a linguistic aspect of the surah, etc. The paper is due April 28.

The final exam (May 3) will emphasize Classical Arabic as found in the surah.

Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500