Divine Attributes and Human Emotions in the Qurʾan with Dr. Todd Lawson

Thursday, October 19th 2023, 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Dinner Board Room, Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, 2400 Ridge Road Berkeley, CA 94709

Divine Attributes and Human Emotions in the Qurʾan:

Joseph’s Sentimental Education in Sura 12

It is remarkable that so little scholarship has been devoted to the rich topic of emotion in the Qurʾan. The most recent guides or companions to the Qurʾan, edited by leaders in the field, barely refer to the this subject. Perhaps earlier Christian polemics against Islam which tended to see the revelation of the Qur’an as a function the Prophet’s emotional instability has thus left a doubly negative mark. Here the focus is on emotion as a form of cognition in the Qurʾan: 1) emotions of God, represented by the Qur’anic names and attributes, 2) the role of God in the life of the believer and the community, which entails an emotional bond, and 3) the emotions of the Prophet . Here the focus is on Joseph whose “imitation of God” is fraught with emotional energy and vitality. The approach adopted is towards the poetics of the text and the way words, images and vignettes may apply to both the unknowable God and, in this case, the comparatively knowable prophet Joseph and by extension to humanity in general.

Dr. Todd Lawson will cover this topic in his talk on October 19. This is a hybrid event; to register online please click here for the Zoom option.