Walid Saleh

Senior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
January - June 2024
Islamic Studies
University of Toronto, Canada
Project Title: 
A History of the Qur'an Commentary Tradition (Tafsir)
Project Abstract: 

Of all the major Islamic Studies subfields, the Qur’an commentary tradition (Tafsir) remains a discipline without a historical narrative of its development or a history of the hermeneutical theories that were developed across the centuries. For the past 15 years I have been working incrementally to write such a history. The building blocks of this history are now complete and what is needed is a book-length narrative to frame and present this genre and its development from its inception to the modern period. The book is based on an extensive survey of the literature of Tafsir (Qur’an commentary), both published and in manuscript collections in the world. The book has three different methodological approaches: historical, regional histories, and hermeneutical discussions; an extensive bibliography is also included as it constitutes a fundamental part of this history.