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Hemingway to Pound: “If there was any justice in this world, you would have gotten the Nobel Prize. You’ll get it yet. I was damn sore.” Reply
Following yesterday’s correspondence between Melville and Hawthorne, today I am posting the reading of a letter by Ernest Hemingway to Ezra Pound. The Yale Library gives a nice lead in to the letter here. There is also a project titled the Letters of Hemingway.
As the story goes, Hemingway met Pound in Paris in the early 1920’s. Hemingway taught Pound how to be a boxer, while Pound taught Hemingway how to write. Hemingway spoke of Pound on other occasions. In 1925 he wrote: “He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. He loans them money. … He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying”
The Five Blessings of Reading 3
Thanks to the HogsHead Blog, I stumbled on this wonderful post by Jenna St. Hillaire reviewing a piece by former BYU Magazine Literary Reviewer Richard H. Cracoff titled No Good Place to Stop. Both pieces are well worth your time in full. I would like to comment on three points that are made across the pieces.
Cracoff lists five blessings of reading. I am going to expound on three of these:
Books enable us to see outcomes where we presently see only possibilities; solutions where we presently see only dilemmas; direction where we presently see only impasse.
I think the way we teach law leads to the conclusion that the law is imagination-limited. Lawyers out there, let’s be honest — we train you to stop using your imagination early on, from the way we teach you to write, to the procedural role that precedent plays to the procedural process of separating facts from law. I think its quite obvious to say, there is just not a lot of room for imagination to flourish. Imagining outcomes where there were only possibilities requires the capacity to see the world as it is, and then turn it just a hair to alter the perspective a bit. Literature’s capacity to highlight this imaginary problem solving capacity is something that the law curriculum needs more of. This is one reason why students love the course — it asks them to do what is instinctual — to imagine a different possibility.
Books help us to process, order, and understand our personal experience and gain perspectives on others’ lives.
I have written other places that the law school process is as much about inward inspection as it is about learning how to be a lawyer – the ability to put miles on one’s soul and to encounter different ideas. One stereotype of legal education is that we create conflict oriented lawyers. I’m not sure that this stereotype is accurate — but I am also willing to concede it might be. Law schools certainly create individuals who are more comfortable with conflict than other disciplines. I think the greater problem is that we do not spend enough time harnessing empathy and understanding — key traits necessary to diffuse conflict. Literature does so naturally.
Books enable us to live more lives than the one allotted and allow us to experience impossible adventures.
Finally, one thing that literature accomplishes is it allows us to be cultivated to our potential as humans — it allows us the opportunity to be better people. I have talked in the past about the destructive allure that the garden in the rear view mirror poses. That the bulk of the biblical narrative is moving away from the garden in the wilderness, and moving towards the city. We get, by reading literature, to choose — are we more like a Willie Stark, a Judge Irwin, or a Jack Burden; A Severis Snape, Belletrix LeStrange or a Lucius Malfoy; a Jay Gatsby, Nick Carroway, or a Tom Buchanan. We get to choose the garden, the city, or a city with a garden in its midst. Literature presents us choices of humanity, to shape our own existence after. Largely we do so through the formation of empathy in conversation with other people. From St. Hillaire’s post:
[The blessings of reading are] about empathy, self-ordering, and finding solutions all bring quite a bit of weight to bear on our interpretations of Harry Potter. Much of fan discussion and literary interpretation has focused on the ways in which Harry helps us become better people (John Granger’s comments about being “trained in the stock responses” come to mind) and on understanding and loving the Other; also, Rowling’s own Harvard address spoke of “the power to imagine better” primarily through empathy.
May we read well for the lessons that continue to cultivate our imaginations and humanity.
Memory, Sluts and Barbers — How we talk about…. Reply
Yesterday, I posted a comparison of the role that labeling plays in the Handmaid’s Tale and the current contraception debate. A few days ago, I posted on Flannery O’Connor’s short story The Barber. Today, NPR posted a new story Slut: The other four letter word, that connects these two posts in a way I had not originally imagined — the role of memory in associating language. (Is it possible that someone at NPR reads the table?). From the story:
And like other dirty words, “slut” besmears whomever it’s applied to in earnest, particularly when it’s simply ridiculing or discrediting someone. It trails all those repellent associations, along with sister words like “hot,” “cheap” and “trashy” that populate the titles of porn videos.
Whether you’re somebody who rejects the very idea of that stigma or somebody who takes it very seriously, it’s disturbing to hear it evoked so wantonly. And however we think of the word now, we can’t help recalling the casual cruelty of the middle-school lunchroom where we first learned how vicious it could sound, even though we had only the vaguest idea of what it was about.
I suspect that that memory is another reason why people found Limbaugh’s remark so offensive. It told us more than we needed to know about what he was thinking. “What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?” — as if we were all back in eighth grade, sneaking a smoke with him in the stairwell.
The writer is dead on. There are certain words that are used because they have the innate ability to travel back in time, thereby bringing to the current discussion all of the context and anxiety that the past has brought. Whether the word is Mother hubbard, slut, prostitute, mud-blood, or other, there is a way in which language somehow becomes a means of incorporating the past.
This semester, I am teaching a seminar on Property law. We started by discussing the foundations of property entitlements, and have considered what I have termed the aroma of property — things that we want to treat like property, but are reluctant to call property. Starting next week, we will read three short books in a section I have called “How we talk about Property” with a focus on memory. It seems that the way we remember things often is a more powerful referent than the way they actually were. Language is critically involved in that process. Labeling, as a primary act of language, is one way of remembering the past by creating large categories of agreeable or disagreeable referents.
“You ever tried to argue with a barber?” 1
Flannery O”Connor had a way of writing irony. She, like other southern writers like Warren, Faulkner, and Clancy, understood that Southern relations are rarely only about authority or correctness — they are about ironic structure, which may raise issues of authority or correctness, but exists as a distinctive ptolemaic of the Southern mind. Irony — like the lonely companionship in Warren, or the role of poor authority in Faulkner. This tension of southern ironic structure is best exemplified in southern race relations — where class structure dictates ones capacity to speak. We have seen this tension in the past as well as our present. Consider the following clip posted by my friend Eric Fink.
The shouts in the audience “go home,” the threat that any other outburst would result in an arrest…” all point to this ironic structure. Individuals are given a voice as long as they are a part of the structure. If they are not a part of the structure, then no matter how loud their voice may be, its unheard. And therefore has no capacity for challenging the structure. Thus, the structure is only challenged from within — an impenetrable quagmire asking citizens to place financial concerns below justice and rightness.
This ironic structure shows up in O’connor’s short story The Barber. There, a college professor (probably in Georgia) finds himself embroiled in a dialogue over several visits about the impending Governor’s election. The discussion of the candidates is centered around race – one candidate is perceived by the audience to be a racial progressive, while one candidate is a status quo candidate. The story though, is threaded around two people who are entitled to debate the merits of the structure, and one person who is impacted by the structure, but has no voice (nor appears to want one). The Barber and his friends are foils that are responding sharply against the candidate that challenge the status quo.
Clearly, the Barber and his companions represent the types of people that educated persons like O’Connor (and I presume most people that read this blog) struggle to engage. The Barber and his companion’s believe that the progressive candidate represents change. They ask the college professor “are you a Mother Hubbard?” — an allusion to one that seeks to change the status quo. [Old Mother Hubbard is a nursery rhyme believed to refer to King Henry VIII’s desire to divorce his wife Queen Katherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn — a significant change in social and property relations if allowed. As the story goes, the King is the Dog, the Cupboard is the church, and the bone is the divorce. Thus, “Old Mother Hubbard, went to the Cupboard to get her poor doggie a bone. When she got there, the Cupboard was bare, and so the poor doggie had none.”] The Barber’s companions also refer to the progressive candidate as a “Boy Blue” another nursery rhyme reference, this time to someone that gloats or toots one’s own horn — [“Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn…”]. Thus, two sticking points in general for the literati — people that avoid change for change sake, and people that accuse those seeking change of merely boasting about their own worth or being braggarts.
This story is where O’Connor is at her best. Throughout the story, its the college professor (and not the Barber and his companions) that plays the fool. He finds himself arguing with an audience that won’t listen. He is corrected by his audience who seem to understand the economic stakes he has up for grabs with the election better than he does. And in other places its the Barber that reminds the college professor to “think” and to use his “horse sense.” Finally, though, we understand how obtuse our College Professor is when he is confronted by his own useless task. Having spent the night writing a “systematic analysis” for why voting for his candidate is a good idea, he presents his work to a colleague — Jacob, referred to throughout the story as a thoughtful yet elusive figure [characters think they see him, but can’t seem to find him, and his opinion is referred to as, well, inexact]. Jacob, having read our professor’s analysis says:
“Well,” Jacobs said, “so what. What do you call yourself doing?”
“Defending myself against barbers,” he said. “You ever tried to argue with a barber?”
“I never argue.”
“That’s because you don’t know this kind of ignorance…. You’ve never experienced it.”
“Oh yes I have,” Jacobs snorted.
” I never argue.”
“But you know you’re right.”
“I never argue.”
“Wel, I am going to argue. I’m going to say the right thing as fast as they can say the wrong. It’ll be a question of speed. Understand, this is no mission of conversion; I’m defending myself.”
The ironic structure is the presence of one who is persistently in the shadows of the ignorance, and does not seem to give any indication of caring. George is the african american shop-boy that cleans up for the barbers. George, unlike our Professor, is profoundly impacted by these larger social issues. Asked at one point who he’d vote for, George says “I don’t knows if they gonna let me vote.” And then says, “I’m gonna vote for Hawkson,” the candidate the Barbers supported. George is a character the none of the white participants respect. In another exchange, the Barber asks our college professor if he would like to teach both white and black students. When the professor says he’d teach everyone, the question is then given to George:
“How’d you like to go to a white school, George?” the Barber shouted.
“”Wouldn’t like that,” George said. We needs sommo powders. These here the las in the box.”
The Barber and his companions treat George as a fools foil, asking George to validate their opinions and contradict the professor, and then satisfactorily sitting back as George does so. Ironically, so does the professor. But George understands the social dynamic better than anyone. He understands that disobedience means not having a job — from his perspective, going to a white school is not better than fetching white powders. He understands that going to white schools, while probably better, makes him no better off and likely results in greater violence to him. And George, understands that people like the professor, whether well-intentioned or not, have less at stake than he does.
Which brings us back to the video of the protestors in North Carolina. These young people understand the stakes. They appreciate the risks. They engage the ironic structure with a voice that does not want to be heard . Kudos.
Reading Twice or Thrice or more Reply
What books do you read over? There are a handful of books that I turn back to now and again, like old friends. I’ve read All the King’s Men (7); The Great Gatsby (3); The Hand Maid’s Tale (2) ; Billy Budd (3); and a handful of short stories that never fail to captivate my attention. I am also rereading right now The Hobbit and plan to reread Crime and Punishment, A Confederacy of Dunces, and the Harry Potter Series.
So what books do you reread? What makes a book the kind that you want to reread over and over again? Post your comments below.
“What would a night student want with Law and Literachure?” or Law and Literature’s Virtue Reply
I have been wrestling with something for a while. The question is often raised in my environment, do lawyers need law and literature, law and religion, or law and…. to be good lawyers? For that matter does Law and Literature actually foster better lawyers? The simple answer is “I don’t know.”
Oh we can talk about the nature of reading and writing (which we do). We can hypothecate upon cultural dimensions of law that are reflected in literary traditions (which we do). We can work on their writing skills (which we do quite a bit). But, I can’t tell you that a single lawyer that has crossed the thresholds of my law and literature class ever was a better lawyer because of it. But what I can tell you is that making them better lawyers is not my primary goal.
A few years ago, I interviewed with a law school in the South and during the interview one of the faculty members asked me “What would a night student in [insert Southern city] want with a course like Law and Lit-er-a-chure.” (Spelling intended to mimic the pronunciation). I was frankly taken aback and responded (and can remember my response word for word): “I don’t know. I mean I don’t know why a night student would want to take law and literature. But they should. Because law and literature challenges the basic presumptions upon which we build our daily existence by allowing our imaginations to freely function.” (That answer did not get me a job). So let me explain further.
Law and Literature’s virtue is the rest of the legal curriculum’s down fall. As students memorize the rule against perpetuities, or try to decipher the battle of the forms in contracts, law school constricts their imaginary capacity — leaving them with the distinct belief that every problem has a distinctive legal solution. I shutter to say this but I worry that we actually create human beings who are less capable of engaging in human endeavors after a few years of law school than had we never gotten a hold of them in the first place.
Law and Literature’s virtue then, is a reminder to our imaginary roots — to the return to literature about human relations, rather than literature that governs human relations. Law and literature teaches us to question the basic suppositions of life — that questions may be hard, and answers may be hard to come by. Law and literature teaches us that ambiguity is not such a bad thing, and that every problem does not deserve an answer, but rather deserves simply time — like time turning the pages of a book, or time writing prose that seems plain and mystical at the same time. That would be my answer today to the question — night students need Law and Literature because their imaginations have stopped, and they need time to allow them to grow. (And I am still certain this answer would definitely not get me a job).
Everyone needs a stop in Rivendell, every now and then… Reply
A bit of introspection, if you will this morning…
I find myself immersing in a strange topic lately: exiles. Really, its not so strange. After all, one of my name sakes perceived the world in which he grew up as one filled with exiles — wanderers who were cut off from the world they occupied while never really entering another. But notably, its not just my namesake’s work that draws me to the exiles dilemma. In about two weeks, I will chair a panel gathered to discuss the import of the exile in foreign literature; I will also present a paper considering Robert Penn Warren, the Southern Exile and the law in a paper I have tentatively called Re-entering the Loneliness. And in a few months, I will leave the west, and return to my home in the South, permanently I hope, though one can never tell these days.
I waffle between feelings of excitement and worry. Returning home is always exciting, and yet as a good student of the Bible knows, the prophet never can quite go home. He’s learned too much on the outside. He’s like Cass Mastern after Louisiville, Jack Burden after California, OfFred after the discovering the Latin writing on the wall… Things happen that render people exiles in the familiar places they occupy. And home never quite feels like home felt before you left.
A few days ago, I picked up the Hobbit. Its been twenty years (or more) since I read the Hobbit and I determined to read the book again before the movie comes out later this year. I am struck by the presence of Rivendell — at the beginning of the epic quest and at the end. It is a place that affords unmitigated rest against the impending tide of uncertainty — uncertainty entering upon an adventure, and uncertainty in coming home. Rivendell is a place where both the edges of fear are perceived, but not confronted or recalled. In the words of Tolkien:
Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend, are soon told about, and not much to listen to; whiles days that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a good deal of telling anyway.
I’m not sure if my queries and endeavors into exiles (and my returning to a home that doesn’t quite feel like home) will afford a stop in Rivendell. I sure hope so, though I doubt there will be very many words used to describe it. Most likely, my words will describe the things along the way, and Rivendell will remain a quiet moment – a sanctuary in the tumultuous life of an exile.
Call for abstracts: Edited volume on law and social economics Reply
Call for abstracts for edited volume
Law and Social Economics
To be edited by Mark D. White, College of Staten Island/CUNY
Planned for inclusion in the “Perspectives from Social Economics” series from Palgrave Macmillan
By its very nature, law is a social enterprise concerned with values such as justice, dignity, equality, and efficiency, but the economic approach to law (or law and economics) focuses on the last goal to the exclusion of the rest. Social economics emphasizes the importance of ethical values to economic theory, practice, and policy, but it has engaged very little with legal studies (or law and economics).
In 1993, Steven Medema published his article “Is There Life Beyond Efficiency? Elements of a Social Law and Economics” in the Review of Social Economy, in which he laid out various ways in which social economics could contribute to the economic analysis of law. In the twenty years since his article appeared, however, few have picked his baton, much less run with it.
This book is an attempt to rectify this situation. Proposals for chapters are welcome on any aspect of law-and-economics on which social economics can make a contribution, and are welcome from economists, legal scholars, and scholars from related disciplines.
Possible topics include:
- Social-economic approaches to the various categories of legal studies, such as
- Private law (tort, contract, property)
- Criminal law
- Methodological critiques of mainstream economic approaches to the law, such as
- Maximizing conception of individual choice
- Efficiency criterion for evaluating laws and institutions
- Application of game theory, behavioral economics, or experimental economics to legal issues
- Examination of the history of law-and-economics scholarship
- Suggestion of topics neglected by mainstream law-and-economics
Proposals should include name and affiliations of all authors, tentative chapter title, and abstract, and should be sent to Mark D. White at email@example.com by April 30, 2012. Tentatively, first drafts of chapters will be expected by November 30, 2012, with final drafts due by February 28, 2013.
A Model for Qur’ānic Interpretation & The Qur’ān: A Select Bibliography Reply
I have liberally adapted the bulk of what follows from Abdullah Saeed’s Interpreting the Qur’ān: Towards a Contemporary Approach (New York: Routledge, 2006), pp. 150-154. The additional material is largely by way of clarification or explanation and although some of it is wholly new, I believe it is in the spirit of, if not faithful to, Saeed’s proposed model.
A Model for Qur’ānic Interpretation
Stage 1—Encounter with the world of the text
Stage 1—A broad and general familiarization with the text(s) and its (their) world(s).
Stage 2—Critical Analysis: (a) Linguistic considerations; (b) Literary context; (c) Literary form; (d) Parallel texts; (e) Precedents
Stage 2—Here we are interested in what the text says about itself (its ‘self-referential’ character). This involves various fundamental analyses:
- Linguistic considerations: this entails analysis of the language of the text (linguistic units), semantics (the meaning of words and phrases involving features of the context, conventions of language use, and goals of the speaker), syntax of verse(s), and in general all linguistic and grammatical issues intrinsic to the text. It also covers different ways in which particular words and phrases can be read (qirā’āt).
- Literary context: how the text in question functions within a particular sūra and/or the Qur’ān as a whole. For instance, examining what comes immediately before or after the verse(s); the composition and structure of the text as well as its rhetorical style and qualities.
- Literary form: identifying whether the text is (largely or principally historical), has liturgical function (e.g., a prayer), is a proverb, a parable or other kind of narrative, or has a legal function. Detailing the connection between literary form and meaning (including, possibly, pragmatics: extra-linguistic context of utterance, generally observed principles of communication, goals of the speaker, presuppositions vis-à-vis new information, speech acts, implicature, etc.).
- Parallel texts: exploring whether there are other texts that are similar to the text under consideration in the Qur’ān and, if so, the extent to which they are similar and different.
- Precedent(s): identification of texts that are similar in content or import and whether these were revealed or inspired before or after the text under consideration.
Stage 3—Meaning for the first recipients: (a) Socio-historical context; (b) Worldview; (c) Nature of the message: spiritual, theological, ethical, legal; (d) Message: contextual v. universal; (e) Relationship of message to overall revelatory message of the Qur’ān
Stage 3—Relating the text to the recipients of the Qur’ān:
- Wider contextual analysis: historical and social information that would shed light on the text in question; analysis of the worldview, culture, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of the first recipients of the Qur’ān in Hijāz (region in the northwest of present-day Saudi Arabia and includes the cities of Mecca and Medina). This analysis includes close examination of the time and place in which, for example, specific cultural, legal, political and economic issues arose.
- Determination of the nature of the message the text conveys: spiritual, theological, ethical, legal, etc.
- Exploration of possible layers of meaning: ‘outer’ and ‘inner,’ overt and implied, or specific and underlying messages of the text; investigation of whether or not the text has universal or simply contextual import and application in the context of the first recipient community. Are there different ways or means other than those specified that can accomplish the specific and clear reason, purpose, or goal of the text in question (e.g., punishment, deterrence, and mercy but without this prescribed form of punishment (which ‘made sense’ at the time and place of the first recipients of this revelation).
- Determination of where message the message is located in a hierarchy of values (metaphysical, devotional and ritual, legal, ethical, etc.).
- Consideration of how the message relates to the broader objectives and concerns clearly evidenced in the Qur’ān.
- Evaluation of how the text was received by the first community of Muslims and how they interpreted, understood and applied it.
Stage 4—Contemporary meaning: (a) Analysis of present context; (b) Contemporary context vis-à-vis socio-historical context; (c) Meaning through time: earliest recipients to the present; (d) Message: contextual v. universal; (e) Applicability to contemporary circumstances and conditions
Stage 4—Relating the text to the contemporary context:
- Determining the current concerns, problems, and needs that appear to be relevant to the message of the under consideration.
- Exploring the present social, political, economic and cultural context relevant to the text.
- Exploring the specific values, norms, and institutions that have a bearing on the message of the text.
- Comparing the present context with the socio-historical context of the text under consideration, taking into account similarities and differences.
- Relating how the meaning of the text as understood, interpreted and applied by the first recipients of the Qur’ān and subsequent historical recipients to the present context, taking into account similarities and differences.
- Evaluating the universality or specificity of the message the text conveys and the extent to which it is related or unrelated to the well-known (i.e., uncontroversial within the tradition) broader objectives and concerns of the Qur’ān.
Most of the last two stages (3 & 4) are not covered by classical tafsīr.
The Qur’ān: A Select Bibliography (in English)
This list includes translations of the Qur’ān into English as well as works examining this sacred scripture from both within and outside Islamic (theological, philosophical, mystical, and legal) traditions.
- Abdel Haleem, M.A.S., trans. The Qur’an. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Abdel Haleem, M.A.S. Understanding the Qur’an: Themes and Style. London: I.B. Tauris, 2001.
- Abu-Hamdiyyah, Mohammad. The Qur’an: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2000.
- Akhtar, Shabbir. The Quran and the Secular Mind: A Philosophy of Islam. New York: Routledge, 2008.
- Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary. Washington, DC: Amanah, 1989.
- Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’ān. Beltsville, MD: Amana Publ., 1989.
- Ali, Ahmed. Al-Qur’an: A Contemporary Translation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.
- Aresmouk, Mohamed Fouad and Michael Abdurrahman Fitzgerald, trans. The Immense Ocean—Al Bahr al-Madīd: A Thirteenth Century Quranic Commentary on the Chapters of The All-Merciful, The Event, and Iron, by Ahmad ibn ‘Ajība. Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2009.
- Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Qur’an. Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1980.
- Ayoub, Mahmoud. The Qur’an and Its Interpreters, Vols. 1-2. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1984.
- Baljon, Jon M.S. Modern Muslim Koran Interpretation (1880-1960). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1961.
- Barlas, Asma. “Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2002.
- Bell, Richard. Introduction to the Qur’an. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1963.
- Bell, Richard. The Qur’an Translated, 2 Vols. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1960.
- Boullata, I.J. Literary Structures of Religious Meaning in the Qur’an. London: Curzon Press, 2000.
- Burton, John. The Collection of the Qur’ān. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1977.
- Cook, Michael. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Cooper, John. The Commentary on the Qur’an by Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press and Hakim Investment Holdings, 1987.
- Cragg, Kenneth. The Event of the Quran: Islam in its Scripture. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971.
- Cragg, Kenneth. The Mind of the Quran: Chapters in Reflection. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1973.
- Cragg, Kenneth. Readings in the Qur’ān. Brighton: Sussex University Press, 1988.
- Dawood, N.J., trans. The Koran. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1956.
- Draz, M.A. Introduction to the Qur’an. London: I.B. Tauris, 2000.
- English Translation of the Meaning of Al-Qur’an: The Guidance for Mankind (Muhammad Farooq-i- Azam Malik, trans.). Houston, TX: The Institute of Islamic Knowledge, 1997.
- Esack, Farid. Qur’ān, Liberation and Pluralism. Oxford, England: Oneworld, 1997.
- Esack, Farid. The Qur’ān: A Short Introduction. Oxford, England: Oneworld, 2002.
- Fakhry, Majid, trans. An Interpretation of the Qur’an. New York: New York University Press, 2002.
- Gätje, Helmut (Alford T. Welch, trans. and ed.). The Quran and Its Exegesis. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1976.
- Al-Ghazālī, Shaykh Muhammad. A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an. Herndon, VA: The International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2005.
- Gwynne, Rosalind Ward. Logic, Rhetoric, and Legal Reasoning in the Qur’ān: God’s Arguments. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004.
- Hamza, Feras and Sajjad Rizvi, eds. An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries, Vol. 1: On the Nature of the Divine. New York: Oxford University Press in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2008.
- Hawting, G.R. and Abdul-Kader A. Shareef, eds. Approaches to the Quran. London: Routledge, 1993.
- The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with English Translation and Short Commentary (Maulavi Sher Ali, trans. and Malik Ghulam Farid, ed.). Tilford, Surrey, England: Islam International Publ., 1994.
- Izutsu, Toshihiko. Ethico-Religious Concepts in the Quran. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2002.
- Izutsu, Toshihiko. God and Man in the Koran. Salem, NH: Ayer Co. Publ., 1980.
- Izutsu, Toshihiko. The Structure of Ethical Terms in the Qur’ān. Chicago, IL: ABC International Group, 2000.
- Jansen, J.J.G. The Interpretation of the Koran in Modern Egypt. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1974.
- Kassis, Hanna E. A Concordance of the Qur’an. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.
- Khalifa, Rashad. Quran, Hadith, and Islam. Fremont, CA: Universal Unity, 2000.
- al-Khu’i, ‛Abu’l Qasim al-Musawu. The Prolegomena to the Qur’an. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1998.
- The Koran. J.M. Rodwell, trans. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1909 (reprint ed., 1974).
- The Koran Interpreted. Arthur J. Arberry, trans. New York: Macmillan, 1955.
- Leaman, Oliver, ed. The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 2005.
- Madigan, Daniel A. The Qur’an’s Self-Image: Writing and Authority in Islamic Scripture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.
- Mattson, Ingrid. The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008.
- McAuliffe, Jane Dammen, ed. The Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, 5 Vols. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2001-2006.
- McAuliffe, Jane Dammen, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Qur’ān. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
- Mir, Mustansir. Dictionary of Qur’anic Terms and Concepts. New York: Garland, 1987.
- Nelson, Kristina. The Art of Reciting the Qur’ān. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1985.
- Pickthall, M.M. The Meaning of the Glorious Koran: An Explanatory Translation. New York: New American Library, 1930.
- The Qur’an (Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, trans., with Arabic text). Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 1997.
- The Qur’an Translated, With a Critical Rearrangement of the Surahs. Richard Bell, trans. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1939.
- Rahman, Fazlur. Major Themes of the Qur’an. Minneapolis, MN: Bibliotheca Islamica, 1980.
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[cross-posted at ReligiousLeftLaw]