Friday, January 13, 2017

Book Review: "Power & Proctection" on Islamic art and the supernatural

By Jane Jakeman
The horoscope of Iskandar ibn 'Umar Shaykh, Iran (1411), based on an astronomically accurate record of the heavens at the time of his birth, with astrological symbols added (Photo: courtesy of the Wellcome Library)
This intelligent work, partly a brief catalogue of an exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (until 15 January), partly a trio of studies by leading scholars, tackles an area of Islamic culture that is rarely addressed: the relationship between formal religion and actual practices. "Power and Protection" is a slim volume, but a much-needed one, integrating courtly and demotic aspects of the manifestations of religious belief. It is an excellent source and starting point for anyone seeking to understand the Islamic world, especially its characteristically inseparable materiality and religiosity. [link]