Page 38

INTRODUCTION

21

research methods to the study of known sources. He also calls to pay attention to the inuence of the religious and cultural needs of the masses on the ofcial religious, rather then “look mainly for the spread of cultural models from the top to wider sections of society.”69 I greatly beneted from Peter Brown’s analyses of the dynamic and uid nature of religious phenomena in late antiquity, and from Patrick Geary’s studies of society and religion in early medieval Europe.70 I found S.D. Goitein’s imaginative treatment of social history in Jewish societies contemporaneous with ‘my’ Muslim society, and his observations on the surrounding Muslim world, particularly enlightening.71 I was also inuenced by insights of Giles Constable regarding preaching; by Elhanan Reiner’s and Yoram Bilu’s works on pilgrimage, and by Nisan Rubin’s approach to death rites.72 Several book-length studies and numerous articles deal with the history of Syria in the Zangid and Ayy¨bid period. I have often relied on Stephen Humphreys’ wonderfully detailed From Saladin to the Mongols (1977), and on Louis Pouzet’s Damas au VIIe/XIIIe siècle (1986): a thick and lively description of religious institutions and schools, scholarly families, the curriculum of religious studies, minority groups and everyday life. Chamberlain’s Knowledge and Social Practice in Medieval Damascus (1994) challenged me with its daring reinterpretation of society and culture in the medieval Middle East. Works that place at the center of their inquiry the religious experience of the individual, rather than power relations, have inspired my approach more signicantly, however. Consequently, I have devoted more attention to communal rites and their tacit meaning, functions and aims, and to theological concepts, than to social competition. Two works especially sensitive in this regard are The Transmission of Knowledge in Late Medieval Cairo (Princeton, 1992) by Jonathan Berkey, and Christopher Taylor’s In the Vicinity of the Righteous: Ziyåra and the Veneration of Saints in Late Medieval Egypt (Leiden, 1998). As is well known, medieval chroniclers, whose main elds of interest were political and dynastic history, do not readily volunteer

69

Gurevich, Historical Anthropology, 17–18. Brown, Cult of Saints; Geary, Living with the Dead. 71 Goitein, Mediterranean Society. 72 Constable, “Language of Preaching”; Reiner, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage; idem, “From Joshua to Jesus”; Bilu, “Jewish Moroccan”; Rubin, End of Life. 70

Profile for Uomodellarinascita

Jsrc 007 talmon heller islamic piety in medieval syria mosques, cemeteries and sermons under the zan  

Jsrc 007 talmon heller islamic piety in medieval syria mosques, cemeteries and sermons under the zan  

Advertisement