Marianna Klar


Post-Doctoral Researcher (QuCIP project); Senior Research Associate at Pembroke College

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Pembroke College


Research Interests:

  • Literary aspects of the Qur’an
  • Medieval Islamic scriptural exegesis 
  • Medieval Islamic historiography
  • Islamic popular literature
  • Islamic manuscripts

Recent Publications:

(Downloads of some of the following publications are available at



  • Interpreting al-Thaʿlabī’s Tales of the Prophets: Temptation, Responsibility and Loss (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009)

Edited volumes:

  • ‘Exegetical Facets of Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923)’ Journal of Qur’anic Studies 18:2 (special issue guest-edited by Marianna Klar) (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016)
  • Structural Dividers in Qurʾānic Material, ed. Marianna Klar (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021)

Articles, book chapters, review essays, etc.:

  • ‘And We cast upon his throne a mere body: A Historiographical Reading of Q. 38:34’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 6:1 (2004), pp. 103–126
  • ‘Stories of the Prophets’ in Blackwell Companion to the Qur’an, ed. A. Rippin (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 338–349
  • ‘Human~Divine Communication as a Paradigm for Power: al-Thaʿlabī’s Presentation of Q. 38:24 and Q. 38:34’ in Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur’an as Literature and Culture, ed. Roberta Sterman Sabbath (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2009), pp. 159–172
  • Review article: ‘The Poetics of Iblīs: Narrative Theology in the Qur’an. By Whitney S. Bodman. Harvard Theological Studies, 62. Cambridge, MSS: Harvard University Press, 2011’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 15:1 (2013), pp. 102–146 
  • ‘Through the Lens of the Adam Narrative: A Re-reading of Sūrat al-Baqara’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 17:2 (2015), pp. 24–46
  • ‘Between History and Tafsīr: Notes on al-Ṭabarī’s Methodological Strategies’ in ‘Exegetical Facets of Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923)’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 18:2 (2016), pp. 89–129
  • ‘Re-examining Textual Boundaries: Towards a Form-Critical Sūrat al-Kahf’ in Islamic Studies Today: Essays in Honor of Andrew Rippin, ed. Majid Daneshgar and Walid Saleh (Leiden: Brill, 2016), pp. 226–254
  • Review Article: ‘An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’an. By Andrew G. Bannister. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 19:1 (2017), pp. 97–131
  • ‘Text-Critical Approaches to Sura Structure: Combining Synchronicity with Diachronicity in Sūrat al-Baqara. Part One’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 19:1 (2017), pp. 1–40
  • ‘Text-Critical Approaches to Sura Structure: Combining Synchronicity with Diachronicity in Sūrat al-Baqara. Part Two’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies 19:2 (2017), pp. 64–107  
  • ‘Qur’anic Exempla and Late Antique Narrative’ in The Oxford Handbook of Qur’anic Studies, ed. M.A.S. Abdel Haleem and M.A.A. Shah (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 128–139
  • ‘A Preliminary Catalogue of Qur’ānic Sajʿ Techniques: Beat Patterning and Parallelism as a Structuring Device’ in Structural Dividers in Qurʾānic Material, ed. Marianna Klar (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021), pp. 181–231
  • ‘Ibn Kathīr’s (d. 774/1373) Treatment of the David and Uriah Narrative: The Issue of Isrā’īliyyāt and the Syrian School of Exegesis’ in Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, ed. Marzena Zawanowska (Leiden: Brill, 2021), pp. 477–506
  • ‘Lexical Layers vs Structural Paradigms in the Opening of Sūrat al-Baqarah: Typically Medinan Structures in Q2, Q3, and Some Shorter Medinan Compositions’ in Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an, ed. Nicolai Sinai (Leiden: Brill, 2022), pp. 57–119

Further info:

Research Associate, Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, University of London (since 2002)

Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Qur’anic Studies (since 2003)

Member of Editorial Board, International Qur’anic Studies Association (since 2021)

Photo of Dr Marianna Klar