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Coral Trails & Camphor Routes: The Matter of Religion in the Indian Ocean

Coral Trails & Camphor Routes: The Matter of Religion in the Indian Ocean
170 St. George Street, JHB 100
Time: Sep 17th, 4:00 pm End: Sep 17th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: South Asian, Religion, Study of (FAS), Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS), Islamic Studies, Information, Faculty of, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), East Asian Studies (FAS), Diaspora/Transnational, 400-1200
Lecture by Nile Green, History, UCLA

The Andrew W. Mellon -- Sawyer Seminar on Comparative Cultures, "Religious Materialities in the Indian Ocean World, 1300-1700" presents its inaugural event:

Nile Green, Professor of History, University of California-Los Angeles

Coral Trails and Camphor Routes: The Matter of Religion in the Indian Ocean

Abstract:  Stretching from the Sulu archipelago to the shores of Eritrea, the cast space of the Indian Ocean is as striking for its uniformity as for its diversity. Spurred by commerce and the trade in commodities, craftworkers used an abundance of raw materials to explore the creative tension between similarity and difference. Ports and hinterlands that were joined by the monsoons from Mindanao to Mocha created spaces and exchanged objects that were at once distinctive enough to be attractive and familiar enough to be intelligible. Between 1400 and 1800, the coeval epansion of Christian and Muslim networks  reaped rich harvests of such religious artifacts. By reassembling the scattered contents of treasure chests and Kunstkammern, this lecture shows off the fabulous trophies of pilgrims and padres to confront a simple but core question: Was there anything oceanic about the Indian Ocean's material culture?

This event is free and open to all. Reception to follow.  For further information, please contact the Centre for South Asian Civilizations (UTM).

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