Martin Hall, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LX
The plain, unadorned character of the first-century synagogues excavated in Israel in recent decades differs significantly from that of the synagogues lavishly decorated with mosaic floors which were built in the centuries after Constantine initiated the Christian creation of the “Holy Land.” These aspects of synagogal architectural and artistic composition display differing concepts of sacred space—concepts which reflect important changes in the nature of worship and liturgical activity in Judaism. This talk aims to read the material culture found in archaeological excavations of these two synagogue types and to suggest how those readings might shape our research into them.
An event jointly organised by The Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, The Jewish Studies Network, and the Religious Studies Research Seminar.
In October IMES, in conjunction with the Alwaleed Centre, will be marking the 50th anniversary of W. Montgomery Watt’s inaugural address as the first Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Scotland with an evening and day of events.
This promises to be a most memorable occasion and will provide an opportunity not only to assess the state of the field since Professor Watt’s pioneering work but will also emphasise the continuing strength of Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Both events will be held in the Playfair Library at the University of Edinburgh and are open to the public.
For booking and more detailed information about the speakers, please see here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/islamic-middle-eastern/news-events/watt-anniversary
Friday, 23 October, 6-8pm
On Friday evening, we will feature two celebrated scholars of early Islam.
Professor Carole Hillenbrand of the University of Edinburgh will begin proceedings with a presentation on ‘Montgomery Watt, the man and the scholar’.
Professor Fred Donner of the University of Chicago will follow with a lecture on ‘The Study of Islam’s Origins since W. Montgomery Watt’s Publications’.
To conclude the evening’s programme, Dr Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh, will offer a short talk on Professor Watt’s religious life.
Saturday, 24 October, 9.30-5.30pm
The following day, Saturday, 24 October, we will be holding an academic colloquium titled, ‘Representations of Muhammad’. This will bring together scholars from both Edinburgh and abroad.
Chair: Dr Andrew Marsham, University of Edinburgh
Professor Wilferd Madelung, Institute of Ismaili Studies
Muhammad, Khadija and ‘Umar
Dr Nicolai Sinai, University of Oxford
Muhammad and the Prophetology of the Medinan Qur’an
Dr Andreas Goerke, University of Edinburgh
Muhammad and Zaynab bint Jahsh: Between History and Exegesis
Dr Christiane Gruber, University of Michigan
Muhammad among the Great Men of the World: Enlightenment, Nationhood, and Early 20th-Century Iranian Carpets
Dr Nacim Pak-Shiraz, University of Edinburgh
Representing Muhammad on Screen
Dr John Tolan, University of Nantes
The Ecumenical Turn: Massignon, Watt, and 20th-century European Scholarship on Muhammad
Roundtable with all Participants: 4:15-5:15pm