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Power and Protection is an innovative, beautifully illustrated account of the link between artistic production and divinatory practices in pre-modern and early modern Islamic societies
An exhibition of the same title will be displayed at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford from 20 October 2016 to 15 January 2017. It will tour to the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto in March to May 2017
Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural is a ground-breaking investigation of divinatory arts in the Islamic world discussing their impact on, and expression through, material culture. This part of the Islamic tradition has hitherto received limited attention, leaving a fascinating and rich chapter of Islam s cultural production largely unexplored.
Essays by three leading experts contextualize over 100 extraordinary objects produced between the twelfth and the twentieth centuries - including personal ornaments, weaponry, textiles, miniature books, and scrolls - demonstrating the currency of astrology, geomancy, bibliomancy, dream interpretation, and the science of divination through letters at all levels of society. Insights gleaned from historical sources unveil and chart the animated debates surrounding divinatory 'sciences', reflecting changing attitudes towards these practices over the centuries.
Thoroughly researched and richly illustrated, Power and Protection offers a stimulating and accessible introduction to this topic for the general reader as well as a fresh and well-balanced account for the specialist.
2. Divination and religion in Islamic medieval culture (Pierre Lory)
3. From Prayer to Protection: Amulets and Talismans in the Islamic World (Christiane Gruber)
4. Sacred Words, Sacred Powers: Qur'anic and Pious Phrases as Sources of Healing and Protection (Francesca Leoni)
5. 9 extended catalogue entries and a fully illustrated checklist of 115 objects in the exhibition