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Attend: Amulets and Talismans in the Muslim World (19-20 May: Leiden)

Leiden University presnetns the International Conference on Amulets and Talismans in the Muslim World on 19-20 May at the Gravensteen building, room 0.11, Pieterskerkhof 6, Leiden (19 May) and
the Lipsius building, room 148, Cleveringaplaats 1, Leiden (20 May).

Located at the interchange of the studies of material culture, history, religion, and anthropology, this multi-disciplinary conference will focus on the role amulets and talismans have played in the Muslim world. We seek to understand how different Muslim communities and individuals pursue their religiosity when unfastened from specific local and temporal settings and how amulets and talismans become articulated with other elements of local religiosities in rural, urban and different social contexts by exploring local ways of engagement with the sacred space, natural forces and unexplainable phenomena and their impact to devotional experiences where amulets play a role. The conference will address the following lines of inquiry in 6 panels:

1. The study of amulets and talismans comprised in collections.
2. Methodological approaches that different disciplines have proposed for the study of amulets and talismans.
3. Different kinds of power that amulets and talismans bear and convey.
4. Physical features and materiality of amulets and talismans.
5. Amulets and Talismans within ritual processes.
6. Influence of medieval texts and traditions in the development of amulets and talismans.

If you wish to attend the conference, please register by sending an email

See for more info:

The conference programme can be found here (PDF).

Thursday 19 May
9:30 Opening speech by Marcela Garcia Probert and Hayat Ahlili, organisers & Petra Sijpesteijn, Director of LUCIS

Panel 1 (10:00-11:30) | Collections
Chair: Petra Sijpesteijn
• Ursula Bsees (University of Vienna). Characteristics of amulets and how to work with them (with special regard to the Vienna Papyrus Collection)
• Baha Jubeh (Palestine Heritage Museum Jerusalem). The Tawfik Canaan Collection of Palestinian Amulets

Panel 2 ( 12:00-13:30) | Theories and methodological approaches
Chair: Jacques van der Vliet
• Remke Kruk (Leiden University). Orthodox Islam and Amulets
• Ab de Jong (Leiden University). From nerang to ta’viz: Zoroastrian spells and amulets between the oral and the written
•  Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv University).Jewish and Muslim Magic in the Cairo Genizah

Panel 3 (15:30-17:30) | Gaining baraka, amulets in connexion to holy places, saints and relics.
Chair: Nathalia Dessing
• Luit Mols (Volkenkunde Museum Leiden).Zamzam-water and the rituals for transferring its benevolent qualities
• Juan E. Campo. (University of California Santa Barbara) Talismanic Inscriptions in the Houses of Ottoman Egypt
Friday 20 May
Panel 4
(10:00-11:30) | Amulets, talismans and materiality
Chair: Marcela Garcia Probert
• Yasmine al-Saleh (Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyya, Kuwait). Snakes, Scorpions, Weapons and the Language of a Talismanic Scroll
• Hazem Abbas Ali (Beni-Suef University).An unpublished amulet from the Papyri Cairo Arab Collection
•  Karl Schaefer (Drake University, Iowa).The Material Nature of Block Printed Amulets

Panel 5 (12:00-13:30) | Mechanisms of activation of amulets: rituals, professionals and discourses
Chair: Hayat Ahlili
• Anne Regourd (University of Copenhagen).
A 20th century manuscript of the K. almadal al-sulaymānī (Ar. IES 286, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): texts on practices & texts in practices
• Pedram Khosronejad (Oklahoma State University).
Modern Persian Amulets and Talismans: a century ethnographical survey on Persian Shiite sacred objects and material religion

Panel 6 ( 15:00-16:30) Al Buni and other influences in the making of talismans.
Chair: Remke Kruk
• Saiyad Nizamuddin Ahmed (The Shiah Institute).
Decoding the Corpus Bunianum: An Essay in the Recovery of an Ancient Occult Science and the Reverse Engineering of an Ancient Occult Technology
• Jean-Charles Coulon (Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes). Amulets and Talismans in the Oldest Works of the Corpus Bunianum
• Lucia Raggetti (Free University Berlin). Healing, Protecting, and Conquering

Source: H-net

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