Parution : Adam Bursi, Traces of the Prophets. Relics and Sacred Spaces in Early Islam, Edinburgh University Press, 2024

 

Traces of the Prophets
Relics and Sacred Spaces in Early Islam

Adam Bursi

 

 

 

 

 

A new interpretation of the roles of material relics and sacred spaces in the formation of Islam

  • Provides a new image of early Islam by examining the roles of material objects, rituals, and sacred spaces in the formation of Muslim communities and identities
  • Analyses a wide variety of Arabic sources to demonstrate the importance of relics and sacred spaces in early Islam, including biographies and hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, Qur’an commentaries, histories and chronicles, juristic compilations, poetry, and polemical tracts
  • Brings early Islamic evidence into dialogue with late antique Jewish and Christian usages and discussions of relics, sacred tombs, and pilgrimage
  • Complicates long-standing assumptions about early Muslims’ negative conceptions of and attitudes towards the veneration of relics and tombs

Traces of the Prophets rewrites the history of holy bodies and sacred spaces in the emergence of Islam. Rather than focusing on theological controversies among early Muslims, this book is grounded in the material objects and places that Muslims touched and “thought with” in defining Islamic practice and belief. While often marginalized in modern scholarship, sacred relics and spaces stood at the disputed boundaries of emergent Islamic identities. Objects and spaces like Abraham’s footprints in Mecca and Muhammad’s tomb in Medina provided sites of shared Islamic ritual, as well as tools for differentiating Muslims from non-Muslims.

Contributing to scholarship studying Islam alongside other late antique religions, Traces of the Prophets highlights how early Muslims deployed sacred objects and spaces to inscribe and dispute Islam’s continuities with, and differences from, Judaism and Christianity. The book argues that prophets’ relics ritually and rhetorically shaped Muslim identities in the first centuries of Islam.

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Chargé de diffusion scientifique (2024, 24 janvier). Parution : Adam Bursi, Traces of the Prophets. Relics and Sacred Spaces in Early Islam, Edinburgh University Press, 2024. IISMM. Consulté le 23 mai 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/vppg

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