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Popular Culture in Medieval Cairo

Popular Culture in Medieval Cairo


Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Author: Boaz Shoshan, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521894296

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About the Authors
  • This is the first book-length study of popular culture in Islamic society, drawing together a wealth of Arabic sources to explore literature, religious celebrations and annual festivities in medieval Cairo and addressing questions of relevance throughout the Islamic world and beyond. Dr Shoshan examines popular religion against the background of the growing influence of Sufism, discussing the sermons of Abn Ata Allah, a leading Cairene Sufi, which shed considerable light on the beliefs of ordinary Muslims. The author then analyses the importance of a biography of Muhammad, which has been attributed to Abu'l-Hasan al-Bakri and suppressed by the learned, and traces the origins and popular practices of the annual Nawruz festival. Finally he explores the political beliefs and economic expectations of the Cairene commoners and demonstrates the complex relationship between the culture of the Cairene elite and that of the people.

    • The first book-length study of popular culture in medieval society
    • The author draws on a wealth of Arabic sources
    • Author tests his theory against similar phenomena in European society
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521894296
    • length: 168 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.26kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Sufism and the people
    2. Al-Bakri's biography of Muhammad
    3. The festival of Nawruz: A world turned upside down
    4. The politics and 'moral economy' of the Cairene crowd
    5. Popular culture and high culture in medieval Cairo
    Appendix: Sufi Shaykhs in medieval Cairo.

  • Author

    Boaz Shoshan, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

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