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Words Touching Bodies: Devotional Texts in Late Medieval North Africa

Join us for a presentation by Ali Noori, Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies, on a fifteenth-century text called Guide to Goodness (Dalaʾil al-Khayrat) held at the Kislak Center.

No registration is required for this public event. 

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May 2, 2024, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
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Lea Library, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center (6th floor)
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Open to the Public

Hosted by: Kislak Center

Close-up of ornamentations on a fifteenth-century Arabic manuscript

Abstract

“Words Touching Bodies” will be a material and textual analysis of multiple copies of a fifteenth-century text called Guide to Goodness (Dalaʾil al-Khayrat) held at the Kislak Center. Written in Arabic by Imam al-Jazuli (d. 1464), Guide was an immensely popular devotional text, containing “blessings” on Prophet Muhammad and not much by way of straight-forward ethics or guidance. The text was to be recited by “lovers,” in private or socially, in a highly prescribed manner to achieve “God’s pleasure and out of love for his Messenger.” Focusing especially on the materiality of the Kislak Center copies (MS Codex 44; CAJS Rar MS 133; MS Codex 1894; MS Codex 1910; MS Codex 1905), Noori will draw on the unique characteristics of the manuscripts to explore what they may tell us about reading practices as well as Sufism in the late medieval/early modern moment.

Presenter

Ali Noori, Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Winner of 2024 Kislak Prize for Predoctoral Research

 

Image: Muḥammad ibn Sulaymān Jazūlī. Dalāʼil Al-khayrāt. Manuscript. Ms. Codex 44. Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.