Space and Muslim Urban Life: At the Limits of the Labyrinth of Fez

Space and Muslim Urban Life: At the Limits of the Labyrinth of Fez

by Simon O'Meara
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415386128

ISBN-13: 9780415386128

Pub. Date: 09/28/2007

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

This book develops academic understanding of Muslim urban space by pursuing the structural logic of the premodern Arab-Muslim city, or medina. With particular reference to The Book of Walls, an historical discourse of Islamic law whose primary subject is the wall, the book determines the meaning of a wall and then uses it to analyze the space of Fez.

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Overview

This book develops academic understanding of Muslim urban space by pursuing the structural logic of the premodern Arab-Muslim city, or medina. With particular reference to The Book of Walls, an historical discourse of Islamic law whose primary subject is the wall, the book determines the meaning of a wall and then uses it to analyze the space of Fez.

One of a growing number of studies to address space as a category of critical analysis, the book makes the following contributions to scholarship. Methodologically, it breaks with the tradition of viewing Islamic architecture as a well-defined object observed by a specialist at an aesthetically directed distance; rather, it inhabits the logic of this architecture by rethinking it discursively from within the culture that produced it. Hermeneutically, it sheds new light on one of North Africa's oldest medinas, and thereby illuminates a type of environment still common to much of the Arab-Muslim world. Empirically, it brings to the attention of mainstream scholarship a legal discourse and aesthetic that contributed to the form and longevity of this type of environment; and it exposes a preoccupation with walls and other limits in premodern urban Arab-Muslim culture, and a mythical paradigm informing the foundation narratives of a number of historic medinas.

Presenting a fresh perspective for the understanding of Muslim urban society and thought, this innovative study will be of interest to students and researchers of Islamic studies, architecture and sociology.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415386128
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
09/28/2007
Series:
Culture and Civilization in the Middle East Series
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     viii
Preface & Acknowledgements     ix
Introduction     1
Premodern Fez     6
Social and Religious Dimensions of Walls     19
Legal Dimensions of Walls: The Book of Walls     29
The Juridic Basis of The Book of Walls     39
Shame and the Significance of Walls     49
Zef/Fez     57
Conclusion     68
A Representative Sample of Cases and Case Titles from The Book of Walls     72
Glossary     80
Notes     82
Bibliography     123
Index     146

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