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Dr Karen Bauer (PhD, Princeton) is an Associate Professor in the Qur’anic Studies Unit at the IIS. Dr Bauer’s research centres on the Qur'an and its reception history, the history of emotions in Islam, and gender in Islamic history and thought. Dr Bauer is currently pursuing a cultural history approach to the Qur’an. 

Dr. Bauer’s most recent book, Women, Households, and the Hereafter in the Qur’an: a Patronage of Piety (with Feras Hamza; Oxford University Press, 2023), applies a historical-critical method to the study of women in the Qur’an. It highlights the importance of the late antique social structures of households and patronage for the Qur’an's moral worldview. This book also shows how Qur’anic doctrine on women and sexual morality was central to the identity of the emergent Muslim community. Her other publications include: An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries, Volume 2: On Women (ed. with Feras Hamza, Oxford University Press/IIS, 2021), which comprises annotated translations of Qur’anic commentaries and extensive introductory materials, including a chapter on women in the Qur'an; Gender Hierarchy in the Qur’an: Medieval Interpretations, Modern Responses (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which traces the history of Qur'anic interpretation (tafsir) through interpretations of verses on women; and Aims, Methods, and Contexts of Qur’anic Exegesis (2nd/8th - 9th/15th centuries) (ed., Oxford University Press, 2013). 

She has published articles on subjects as diverse as emotion and emotional rhetoric in the Qur'an, women’s right to be judges in Islamic law, and the audiences of tafsir. Dr Bauer is an active member of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) and is co-series editor, along with Joseph Lowry and Shawkat Toorawa, of the book series ISIQ (IQSA studies in the Qur’an), published by De Gruyter. She is on the team of the KITAB project at the .