Center for Middle East Studies
CONTEXTUALITY AND INTERTEXTUALITY IN CONTEMPORARY (SHI'I) ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE
A Public Lecture by David Simonowitz
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
It is often argued that little, if anything, differentiates Shi'i mosques from Sunni mosques. Art historical evidence indicates that this contention is an over-simplification at best. Furthermore, close comparison of ritual spaces in contemporary Shi'i societies provides clear evidence to the contrary. This presentation will illustrate and discuss principles that inform the conception of Shi'i mosques in national and transnational contexts, highlighting the doctrinal, and, in some cases, political, imperatives that distinguish such spaces at the turn of the 15th/21st century. Simultaneously, the presentation will explore the cognitive mechanisms that facilitate the articulation of these principles in material culture and ritual space.