How do people make sense of their scriptures when they do not align with the way they envision these texts? This problem is faced by many contemporary believers and is especially challenging in relation to passages that go against one's vision of a gender egalitarian cosmology. Ayesha Chaudhry
, professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, examines one such passage from the Qur'an, verse 4:34, which has traditionally been interpreted to give husbands disciplinary rights over their wives, including hitting them. In Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition: Ethics, Law, and the Muslim Discourse on Gender
(Oxford University Press, 2013) Chaudhry offers a historical genealogy of pre-colonial and post-colonial interpretations of this verse and their implications. Through her presentation she offers portraits of the "Islamic Tradition" and how these visions of authority shape participants' readings of scripture. In our conversation we discuss the ethics of discipline, idealized cosmologies, marital relationships, legal interpretations, Muhammad's embodied model, Muslim feminist discourses, effects of colonialism, and the hermeneutical space between modernity and tradition.