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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsSIR DAVID EASTWOOD: Hello. I'm David Eastwood. I'm the vise chancellor of the University of Birmingham. And it's a great pleasure for me to introduce this new MOOC, which will be focused on a wonderful document, a precious document, the Birmingham Qur'an. This MOOC, the Birmingham Qur'an is an opportunity to study in depth a remarkable document. But studying on this MOOC will also introduce you to the wider richness of the Mingana collection, a collection from across the Middle East, which the university holds in its archives. The University of Birmingham, we are hugely privileged to have the stewardship of this remarkable artefact. It's at the heart of our precious cultural collection, and it symbolises the kind of university we are.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsResearch into cultures, research into belief, research into the foundational texts of the great world religions is one of the things which has been fundamental to the research of the University of Birmingham for over a century. The Birmingham Qur'an is a precious part of that great archive, and this is an opportunity to study it in still greater depth. The City of Birmingham is one of the great multicultural cities of the world, and the University of Birmingham reflects that diversity in its student body. Having the Qur'an as one of the manuscripts that we have the stewardship of is wonderfully emblematic of the diversity of our university community.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 secondsAnd it's held at the heart, and it's precious too, at the wider community of the City of Birmingham. The launch of this MOOC fits wonderfully with the launch of University of Birmingham's campus in Dubai. We are opening that campus in September 2018. So this MOOC is situated not just in the launch of our first international campus in Dubai, but it's also situated in the wider network of relationships that the university has on values right across the Middle East.

Introduction to the course

Professor Sir David Eastwood became Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham in April 2009.

He was previously Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), a post he had held since September 2006.

The Birmingham Qur’an manuscript is a two-leaf, four-page manuscript made of parchment containing parts of Surahs 18, 19 and 20 of the Qu’ran. The manuscript has been carbon-14 dated to the date range of 568 to 645 with a 95.4% degree of confidence. This places the parchment on which the text is written close to the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad.

By the end of this week you will:

  • Explore and understand the historic and cultural significance of the Birmingham Qur’an manuscript dating
  • Develop an appreciation of the religious, social and community importance of the Birmingham Qur’an manuscript
  • Engage with the journey of the Birmingham Qur’an from the Islamic heartlands to Birmingham University

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Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

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This video is from the free online course:

The Birmingham Qur'an: Its Journey from the Islamic Heartlands

University of Birmingham

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