The Cult of Saints among Muslims and Jews in Medieval Syria (Oxford Oriental Monographs)

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9780199250783: The Cult of Saints among Muslims and Jews in Medieval Syria (Oxford Oriental Monographs)

This accessible study is the first critical investigation of the cult of saints among Muslims and Jews in medieval Syria and the Near East. Through case studies of saints and their devotees, discussion of the architecture of monuments, examination of devotional objects, and analysis of ideas of "holiness", Meri depicts the practices of living religion and explores the common heritage of these two faiths.

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This study is a critical investigation of the cult of saints among Muslims and Jews in medieval Syria and the Near East. Through case studies of saints and their devotees, discussion of the architecture of monuments, examination of devotional objects, and analysis of ideas of "holiness", Meri depicts the practices of living religion and explores the common heritage of all three monotheistic faiths. Critical readings of a wide range of contemporary sources - travel writing, geographical works, pilgrimage guides, legal writings, historical sources, hagiography, and biography - reveal a vibrant religious culture in which the veneration of saints and pilgrimage to tombs and shrines were fundamental.

From the Inside Flap:

Oxford University Press Interview with Josef Meri:

'Achieving a better understanding of a historical phenomenon, such as the veneration of saints, requires that we engage the fundamental elements of the human experience — people, their motivations, dreams, life crises, and rituals, and that we disengage from modern political ideologies, nationalisms, and fundamentalisms, which have all too often hijacked historical discussions of interfaith relations'

Q: What motivated you to write about Muslims and Jews?

During my days as an Undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, my academic supervisors encouraged me to take up the study of the history, peoples, languages, and cultures of the Middle East. I did so after abandoning the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which was at the time an attractive area of study, but which left me wanting to know more about the intersection of beliefs, customs and traditions. More recently, I was troubled by the politicization and radicalization of the history of interfaith relations. Although I do not really deal with the modern era in this study, it needs to be said that today, and quite tragically, politics, fundamentalisms, foreign policy, and to a certain extent the media, largely dominate and inhibit the public’s understanding of the peoples of the Middle East and their rich traditions and histories. Among the major failings of the modern era are the various nationalisms and other ‘–ism’s’ that emerged during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Lamentably, professing an ideology or ‘–ism’ has often become inseparable from, or has even displaced, the practice of religion, whereas in the pre-modern Middle East and Islamic world, belief in the power of religion as a force for good was a more essential aspect of daily life. What I am arguing for is the ‘humanization’ of the history of the pre-modern Islamic world and inter-faith relations.

Q: Why focus on the Jewish and Muslim experiences of saint veneration?

The veneration of saints and pilgrimage represent an essential aspect of daily life in which social intercourse among Muslims, Jews, and Christians is historically well documented. I chose to focus on Muslims and Jews because historically their traditions and religious practices have been treated apart from those of Christians. Admittedly, I say little about Christian practices, except for the important regional cult of the Virgin at Saydnaya outside Damascus which today remains an important pilgrimage site, and a number of other regional cults. The indigenous Christian communities of the Islamic world did not record traditions concerning the efficaciousness of saints' tombs and making pilgrimage to them, as did Muslims and Jews, though they did have their saint days and pilgrimage sites which Muslim writers recorded. A common devotional culture existed in which devotees of all faiths partook, though as a rule Jews and Muslims did not venerate saints’ relics and icons, as did the Oriental Christian communities of the Middle East. The veneration of saints in pre-modern Islamic societies demonstrates the social and cultural symbiosis of devotees of different faiths, common understandings of holiness and sanctity, and common, yet peculiar ritual practices.

Q: Do you believe it is fortuitous that this study, which addresses interfaith relations, was published as the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to rage? I would not say fortuitous. I certainly wish this book did offer a solution to the seemingly irresolvable conflict, but it does not. Its claim is much more modest. The most that it offers is a lesson about the past. As I was preparing this book for publication, the second Palestinian uprising already had begun. I refer to the tragic situation briefly in the introduction and once more in the conclusion by way of comparison. My study reflects on a time when relations between Jews and Muslims as well as Muslims and Oriental Christians were harmonious for the most part throughout the Islamic world. The practice of faith governed interfaith relations, rather than the modern ideologies, which have blinded many today.

Q: What are you working on at present?

I am completing an annotated English translation of a unique Arabic pilgrimage guide for the 12th-century Islamic world, parts of Byzantium and the islands of the Mediterranean. It includes Muslim as well as Christian and Jewish pilgimage sites. It will be published in scholarly paperback and electronic editions. Also I have been working on a new monograph on Sacred Landscapes of the Medieval Islamic World which is based in part on the first chapter of The Cult of Saints.

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Meri, Josef W.
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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2003. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This accessible study is the first critical investigation of the cult of saints among Muslims and Jews in medieval Syria and the Near East. Through case studies of saints and their devotees, discussion of the architecture of monuments, examination of devotional objects, and analysis of ideas of holiness , Meri depicts the practices of living religion and explores the common heritage of all three monotheistic faiths. Critical readings of a wide range of contemporary sources - travel writing, geographical works, pilgrimage guides, legal writings, historical sources, hagiography, and biography - reveal a vibrant religious culture in which the veneration of saints and pilgrimage to tombs and shrines were fundamental. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780199250783

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Josef Meri
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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2003. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This accessible study is the first critical investigation of the cult of saints among Muslims and Jews in medieval Syria and the Near East. Through case studies of saints and their devotees, discussion of the architecture of monuments, examination of devotional objects, and analysis of ideas of holiness , Meri depicts the practices of living religion and explores the common heritage of all three monotheistic faiths. Critical readings of a wide range of contemporary sources - travel writing, geographical works, pilgrimage guides, legal writings, historical sources, hagiography, and biography - reveal a vibrant religious culture in which the veneration of saints and pilgrimage to tombs and shrines were fundamental. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780199250783

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Meri, Josef
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Descripción Oxford University Press, 2017. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Nº de ref. de la librería 0199250782

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Descripción OUP Oxford, 2016. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. PRINT ON DEMAND Book; New; Publication Year 2016; Not Signed; Fast Shipping from the UK. No. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9780199250783_lsuk

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Descripción Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0199250782 Special order direct from the distributor. Nº de ref. de la librería ING9780199250783

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Josef Meri
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Descripción OUP Oxford. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover. 350 pages. Dimensions: 8.6in. x 5.6in. x 1.1in.This accessible study is the first critical investigation of the cult of saints among Muslims and Jews in medieval Syria and the Near East. Through case studies of saints and their devotees, discussion of the architecture of monuments, examination of devotional objects, and analysis of ideas of holiness, Meri depicts the practices of living religion and explores the common heritage of these two faiths. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780199250783

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Meri, Josef
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Descripción Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0199250782 New Condition *** Right Off the Shelf | Ships within 2 Business Days ~~~ Customer Service Is Our Top Priority! - Thank you for LOOKING :-). Nº de ref. de la librería 2BOOK2P194879

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MERI, J. W.,
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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Oxford University Press, 2002. 342p. Hardback. Series: Oxford Oriental Monographs. This is a book of scholarly value that should prove important as a source for the more specialized study of individual cults and their sites. It is also distinctly thought-provoking and thus takes a worthy place in the ongoing study of the theological and sociological interrelationships of Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Middle East. Bulletin of The Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies 16/09/2004 (Publisher's information). Condition: New Print on Demand. Printed on Demand. Nº de ref. de la librería 40314

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