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Islam and the Devotional Object

Islam and the Devotional Object
Seeing Religion in Egypt and Syria

$99.99 (C)

  • Publication planned for: July 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108483841

$ 99.99 (C)
Hardback

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Richard J. A. McGregor offers a history of Islamic practice through the aesthetic reception of medieval religious objects. Elaborate parades in Cairo and Damascus included decorated objects of great value, destined for Mecca and Medina. Among these were the precious dress sewn yearly for the Ka'ba, and large colorful sedans mounted on camels, which mysteriously completed the Hajj without carrying a single passenger. Along with the brisk trade in Islamic relics, these objects and the variety of contested meanings attached to them, constituted material practices of religion that persisted into the colonial era, but were suppressed in the twentieth century. McGregor here recovers the biographies of religious objects, including relics, banners, public texts, and coverings for the Ka'ba. Reconstructing the premodern visual culture of Islamic Egypt and Syria, he follows the shifting meanings attached to objects of devotion, as well as the contingent nature of religious practice and experience.

    • Explores the lives of Islamic religious objects, showing how the meaning attached to objects shifts and changes over time
    • Chronicles public rituals and displays from premodern Egypt and Syria
    • Recovers aesthetic practices that modern religiosity has marginalized and obscured
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: July 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108483841
    • dimensions: 253 x 177 mm
    • contains: 50 b/w illus.
    • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Objects over distance
    2. An exuberant and elusive palanquin
    3. Processions, banners, and the religious spectacle
    4. The relic and its witness
    5. Religious topography and the relic
    6. Defacing and displacing.

  • Author

    Richard J. A. McGregor, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
    Richard J. A. McGregor is Associate Professor of Religion and Islam at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of Sanctity and Mysticism in Medieval Egypt (2004), co-editor of The Development of Sufism in Mamluk Egypt (2006) and Sufism in the Ottoman Era (16th–18th C.) (2010), and a translator of the Arabic edition of The Epistle of the Brethren of Purity: The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn (2009).

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