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The Dead, Tradition and Collective Memory in Mesopotamia
Author: Gerdien Jonker
The Topography of Remembrance deals with different forms of remembrance and collective memory in Mesopotamia, discussing both its public (national) and private (family) aspects. The Introduction offers a history of modern, European memory in comparison with the Mesopotamian mode. The research adds to the recent discussion on collective memory.
The Mesopotamians found tools for the construction and passing on of common remembrance in liturgical repetition, in the preservation of buildings and monuments, and in communication channels. To describe these processes the author deals with different texts written between 2300-300 BC, which transport memory from a historical, administrational or religious perspective.
According to this study, the need to remember was prompted by the search for identity, a dynamic process in which forgetting played an essential part. The description of this process is also relevant to modern society. It offers an important contribution to the discussion of acculturation and identity.
Jews and Muslims in Interwar Berlin
Author: Gerdien Jonker
This study addresses encounters between Jews and Muslims in interwar Berlin. Living on the margins of German society, the two groups sometimes used that position to fuse visions and their personal lives. German politics set the switches for their meeting, while the urban setting of Western Berlin offered a unique contact zone. Although the meeting was largely accidental, Muslim Indian missions served as a crystallization point. Five case studies approach the protagonists and their network from a variety of perspectives. Stories surfaced testifying the multiple aid Muslims gave to Jews during Nazi persecution. Using archival materials that have not been accessed before, the study opens up a novel view on Muslims and Jews in the 20th century.

This title is available in its entirety in Open Access.
Author: Gerdien Jonker


In this paper, I retrace the history of the Ahmadiyya mission in inter-war Europe as part of the globalisation narrative. Once they gained a footing, missionaries responded and adapted to local experiments with modernity as a means to simultaneously win over Europeans and to modernise Islam. The article first considers the mental map with which Ahmadiyya and other Muslim intellectuals approached Europe. It reconstructs the work of the mission organisation, and illustrates the communication difficulties between the Lahore centre and the mission post in Berlin. Making use of fresh sources, I then sketch out the political context in which the missionaries moved about, and trace their perceptions and adaptations of European ideas. In the larger picture of globalisation, the Berlin mission offers a telling example of local religious adaptation, emphasising the important rapport between the newcomers and the local factor.

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
In: Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Volume 1
In: The Topography of Remembrance