Wine, Water, and Prayer: Early Debates at the Meccan Sanctuary

Sponsored by the Seminar in Arabic Studies at Columbia University

Thursday, December 8

 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Faculty House

64 Morningside Drive

New York, NY 10027

During the first two centuries of Islamic history, the sanctuary at Mecca underwent considerable transformations, both in terms of architectural refashioning and in the actual ritual performances and offices associated with the pilgrimage. Many of these developments are largely forgotten in the succeeding centuries and survive today mostly as antiquarian lore. Travis Zadeh will discuss these developments in ritual and architectural terms and will examine what these changes reveal about the formation of religious practice and mythology at the sanctuary complex. This talk forms the basis of a current book project that Zadeh is completing on the early history, formation, and memory of the Meccan sanctuary.

Travis Zadeh is an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, at Yale University. Zadeh is the author of Mapping Frontiers Across Medieval Islam: Geography, Translation, and the Abbasid Empire (IB Tauris, 2010) and The Vernacular Qur'an: Translation and the Rise of Persian Exegesis (Oxford, 2011). He has also published widely on early Islamic intellectual and cultural history, with particular focus on frontiers, religious conversion, pilgrimage, sacred geography, the marvelous, Qur'anic studies, and material and visual cultures.

The talk will begin at 7:00 pm. If you would like to join the speaker for dinner at 6:00 pm, please RSVP to the seminar's rapporteur Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah ( no later than Thursday, December 1, 2016.  Please note that the cost of dinner is $30.00, payable by check made out to "Columbia University."

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