KUEHN Sara

Researcher (History of Islamic Art). Consultant, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Period of residence: 
23 février 2015 - 17 juillet 2015
Research project: 
Framing Ritual Visualisation in Muslim Mysticism: The Case of Southeastern Europe
Summary of the research project: 

Viewed as charged with a special potency, the symbolism of Ṣūfīsm (taawwuf), the mystical expression of Islam, adds yet another dimension to the possible attribution of symbolic meanings to layered and associative symbolism of its signitive world; the semantics of the visible symbols being at least as much an exact science as the semantics of verbal symbols, or “words”. Focusing on the ritual/ceremonial aspect of pertaining to things sacred, of being in some way efficacious in the lives of the “mystics” and in Islamic society more generally, this research sheds light onto the visualisation of belief and piety of the Islamic brotherhoods in early modern and contemporary Southeastern Europe and thus elucidates a significant and hitherto often disregarded group of images and symbols in these ritual spaces. My research, then, hypothesises that the study of the material dimension of mystical Islam in the western Balkans is fundamental to understanding religious belief and culture in these regions, and that it can only be understood and gain significance through an examination of its present and historical context.

Curriculum Vitae: