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In: Politics of Worship in the Contemporary Middle East


Guided by the hypnotic repetitive sound of drums, the ritual trance dance known as dhamāl belongs to the multiple worlds of Pakistani Sufi shrines and is characteristic of the concrete devotional practices of rural people and the urban poor, especially in Sindh and the Punjab. Drawing on Ronald L. Grimes’s concept of distinguishing various modes of embodied ritual attitudes, the study explores the performance and aesthetics of this public, predominantly collective dance at two selected ethnographic settings, differentiating three groups of actors in terms of ritual structure, techniques of the body, gestural grammar and gender-related kinaesthetic styles. Apart from marked differences between performers, these modes of ritual sensibilities co-exist and interpenetrate each other whereby the celebrative form of interaction with the beloved saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar remains the central theme. DHamāl is a full-bodied, active experience of mystical devotion which belongs to the ‘social habitus’ of the dancers and can be considered a pattern of appropriate ritual action embedded in the local cultures of both Sindhis and Punjabis which is shared among Muslims as well as Hindus.

In: Journal of Sufi Studies


In Pakistan, the burning of oil lamps at Sufi shrines shapes the visitor’s sensual perception, but is above all connected with the practice of making vows. The offering of light is therefore considered auspicious in popular devotional Islam. Conse­quently, the lighting of lamps at shrines also marks the beginning of commemorative rituals and festivities. The present article documents and investigates contemporary lampstands, lamp niches, and lamp houses in the lowlands of Pakistan that until today have remained largely unnoticed as far as material religion is concerned. On the basis of their various forms, these lighting devices are differentiated as free-standing oil lamps, ʿalam-shaped lampstands, tree-shaped lampstands, special forms of lampstands, lamp niches, and lamp houses.

In: Muqarnas Online
In: Taking Offense
Religion, Art, and Visual Culture in Plural Configurations
Series:  dynamis
What makes an image offensive? — This question is addressed in this volume. It explores tensions and debates about offensive images and performative practices in various settings in and beyond Europe.
Its basic premise is that a deeper understanding of what is at stake in these tensions and debates calls for a multidisciplinary conversation. The authors focus on images that appear to trigger strongly negative reactions; images that are perceived as insulting or offensive; those subject to taboos and restrictions; or those that are condemned as blasphemous. In light of recurrent acts of violence leveled against images and symbols in the contemporary, globally entangled world, addressing instances of “icono-clash” (Bruno Latour) from a new post-secular, global perspective has become a matter of urgency.
Das neue umfangreiche Referenzwerk für Kirchen- und Religionsrecht berücksichtigt über das staatliche Recht und das Kirchenrecht der katholischen und der evangelischen Kirche hinaus auch zentrale Inhalte des Kirchenrechts der orthodoxen Kirchen sowie des islamischen und jüdischen Rechts.
Für Theologen und Juristen in Wissenschaft, staatlicher und kirchlicher Verwaltung sowie in der Seelsorge und der beruflichen Praxis bietet dieses unter Mitarbeit namhafter Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler erstellte Lexikon verlässliche Informationen auf aktuellem Stand. Die Lemmata des vierten Bandes (S-Z) behandeln spezifische Themen wie „Schule“ (Staatlich, Katholisch, Evangelisch), „Seelsorge“ (Katholisch, Evangelisch, Orthodox, Jüdisch, Islamisch), „Strafrecht“ (Staatlich, Katholisch, Evangelisch, Orthodox, Jüdisch, Islamisch), „Synode“ (Katholisch, Evangelisch, Orthodox) oder „Trauung“ (Staatlich, Katholisch, Evangelisch, Orthodox, Jüdisch, Islamisch).