The present volume is the work of 25 scholars who represent various specializations important to the study of the Qur'an, including Arabic language, comparative Semitic linguistics, paleography, epigraphy, history, rhetorical theory, hermeneutics, and Biblical studies. The starting point of this work was a series of five international conferences on the Qur'an at the University of Notre Dame over the academic year 2012-13, although the commentaries contributed during those conferences have been carefully edited to avoid repetition. Readers of The Qur'an Seminar Commentary will find that the 50 passages selected for inclusion in this work include many of the most important and influential elements of the Qur'an, including:
- Q 1, al-Fatiha
- Q 2:30-39, the angelic prostration before Adam
- Q 2:255, the "Throne Verse"
- Q 3:7, the muhkamat and mutashabihat
- Q 4:3, polygamy and monogamy
- Q 5:112-15, the table (al-ma'ida) from heaven
- Q 9:29, fighting the People of the Book and the jizya
- Q 12, the story of Joseph
- Q 24:45, the "Light Verse"
- Q 33:40, the "seal of the prophets"
- Q 53, the "satanic verses"
- Q 96, including the passage often described as the "first revelation"
- Q 97, the "night of qadr"
- Q 105, the "Companions of the Elephant"
- Q 112, on God and the denial of a divine son
The collaborative nature of this work, which involves a wide range of scholars discussing the same passages from different perspectives, offers readers with an unprecedented diversity of insights on the Qur'anic text.