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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Bedes Byddyng (CA #135)

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  • Chris Laning
    ... Thanks for the compliments! Part of the reason the section on Islamic prayer beads is sketchy is that I have yet to find any recent scholarship on the
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 15, 2007
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      Katherine Throckmorton <katherine.throckmorton@...> wrote:
      >>I think that most of us, you look at your own work and only see the flaws.
      >I thought that it was a very good monograph. It was clearly written, and it
      >was obviously carefully researched. Importantly for a SCA audience, it
      >struck a good balance between explaining the history of the item and
      >explaining how to recreate it. I almost wish that you had limited the scope
      >to Western Christian rosaries and paternosters, if only because the
      >discussion of prayer beads outside of that context, although interesting,
      >seemed cursory and incomplete compared to the through discussion of rosaries
      >and paternosters in Western Europe. But that is a fairly niggling criticism
      >of what was a otherwise exemplary CA.

      Thanks for the compliments!

      Part of the reason the section on Islamic prayer beads is sketchy is that I have yet to find any recent scholarship on the subject. There are some sources from the early 20th century, which I did use, but so far I haven't turned up any scholars who are actually working on them. I'm hoping a seminar coming up next spring will put me in touch with someone who knows a bit more. (Of course, I'm sure it doesn't help either that I don't read Arabic and am not a Muslim.)

      Also, if the history of Islamic prayer beads is in anywhere near the same category as research into the history of the Koran, then it's also possible that the basic research has simply not been done. Apparently the history of the Koran is a very sensitive subject, since it is regarded by Muslims as direct revelation from God. If it is thought to date back to the time of the Prophet, it's possible the history of prayer beads might be equally sensitive.

      Christian de Holacombe

      ____________________________________________________________
      0 Chris Laning
      | <claning@...>
      + Davis, California
      http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
      ____________________________________________________________
    • Katherine Throckmorton
      ... In Islamic Studies pretty much the only topic that no one wants to touch is the historicity of the Quran. The closest that a few scholars are willing to
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 15, 2007
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        Christian de Holacombe wrote:

        > >Also, if the history of Islamic prayer beads is in anywhere near the same
        > category >as research into the history of the Koran, then it's also possible
        > that the basic >research has simply not been done. Apparently the history of
        > the Koran is a very >sensitive subject, since it is regarded by Muslims as
        > direct revelation from God. If it >is thought to date back to the time of
        > the Prophet, it's possible the history of prayer >beads might be equally
        > sensitive.
        >








        In Islamic Studies pretty much the only topic that no one wants to touch is
        the historicity of the Quran. The closest that a few scholars are willing
        to come is taking a very careful look at the process of the codification of
        the Quran, but no one wants to come right out and question the actual
        revelation.

        That said, in terms of Islam, pretty much every other topic is on the
        table. Indeed, within Islam there is a very long tradition of textual
        criticism aimed at figuring out if a given report about what Muhammad said
        is likely to be accurate or not. There is also a long tradition of being
        somewhat suspicious of religious innovation, which means that there has been
        a long tradition of looking at things like tasbihs and dikhir and trying to
        determine if they are legitimate religious practice or not. So studying the
        history of tasbih is not something that scholars would avoid because it is a
        sensitive topic.

        I think that you are correct that the primary scholarship hasn't been done,
        but this is largely because in Islamic studies there is a general dearth of
        scholarship that looks at the *history* of popular religious practice
        systematically. And there is even less that looks at the material culture
        associated with This means that all of the information that is out there
        is going to be buried in discussions of something else. On the other hand,
        I would say that it is likely that there is likely to be a fair amount of
        information out there, given how widespread tasbih's have been, and that
        tasbih's are frequently brought up as an example of a "good bidah", that is,
        a practice that emerged after the time of Muhammad that is nonetheless as
        good thing. Of course, none of these sources are likely to be overly
        concerned about what the tasbih is made of :(

        -Katie (since Katherine knows nothing about the beliefs and practices of
        mohammadeans, and fervently hopes she never finds out, and Asma finds the
        idea that anyone would object to a tasbih incredible)


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