Landscapes of Muslim art and architecture in the West

Authored by: Eric R. Roose

Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415691321
eBook ISBN: 9781315794273
Adobe ISBN: 9781317744023


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In 1989, the architectural historian Jonathan Bloom published a detailed study of the origins of the minaret in which he contested the widely held idea that Islamic architecture, since its assumedly functional beginnings in Medina, had always been automatically influenced by, or simply modeled on, the pre-Islamic architectures in the newly Muslim lands:

They [scholars] have explained its [the minaret’s] purpose as announcing the presence of Islam to non-Muslims. The common denominator of all these theories is that the minaret is always explained in terms of other cultures and scarcely ever in terms of the culture that produced it. This book attempts to correct that fault and to challenge the received view.

( Bloom 1989: 7)

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