Chapter

Environmental Disasters and Political Dominance in Shared Festivals and Intercessions among Medieval Muslims, Christians, and Jews

Alexandra Cuffel

in Muslims and Others in Sacred Space

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199925049
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980468 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925049.003.0005

Series: AAR Religion, Culture, and History

Environmental Disasters and Political Dominance in Shared Festivals and Intercessions among Medieval Muslims, Christians, and Jews

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Shared festivals and intercessory processions by medieval Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Egypt, the Levant, al-Andalus and the Maghrib challenged both communal and gender boundaries while at the same time served as a tool by which Muslims, Christians, and Jews sought to reassert such boundaries through interpretation and rhetoric. Shared rituals and concern about them were long-standing, however, anxiety about them increased in the eleventh century and continued through the sixteenth due to resentment toward Fatimid accommodation with non-Muslims, growing political tensions with Christians, and increasing environmental threats. These festivals served as vehicles to work out broad issues of identity, political dominance, and fears about ecological dangers beyond human control. In the face of natural disasters, such as drought and plague, the inclusion of women and religious minorities was seen as necessary for the efficacy of these festivals and prayer procession.

Keywords: shared festivals; Muslims; Jews; Christians; Fatimid accommodation; natural disasters; women; religious miorities; Egypt; the Levant

Chapter.  17740 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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