Compare and contrast Islamic calligraphy at Alhambra and Dome of the Rock to Christian mosaics at Ravenna

Roman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”>Muslim Structures and Pilgrimage; Christian Structures and Pilgrimage
Roman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”> Please respond to the following:

  • Roman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”>In Chapter 9, we encounter the early world of Islamic civilization, starting from the times of Muhammad in the early 600s CE (=AD). Two significant surviving structures are the Kaaba in Mecca and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (pp. 284-7). See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM81wroj_MQRoman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”> for a National Geographic presentation of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca–the Hajj. Then, see the walking tour at http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200901/al-haram/tour.htmRoman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”> about the Dome of the Rock and other structures around it – the whole walking tour is lengthy; you are free to focus on what you wish. The Al-Haram al-Sharif is what Muslims call the sacred area around the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem; non-Muslims usually call that same area the Temple Mount because it is probably the area where the ancient Jewish temple had been located in the time of Solomon and then in the time of Jesus (before the temple was destroyed by Romans in 70 AD). Consider that instead of icons showing human forms, Muslim sacred art preferred calligraphy (like the Bismillah expressions of pp. 290-1) and geometric patterns and images of nature. After these readings and explorations, discuss the following:
    • Roman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”>Considering that calligraphy and mosaic are visual representations of religious belief, compare and contrast Islamic calligraphy at Alhambra and Dome of the Rock to Christian mosaics at Ravenna. What do you think each art form communicates about the religion it represents? Why Muslim art is reluctant to include images of humans (at least in sacred areas).
    • Roman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”>Compare aspects of the Bayeux Tapestry to aspects of a war film depicting a real-life military battle. How do both the Bayeux Tapestry and the film influence the viewer to be more sympathetic to one side over another?Roman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”>
  • Roman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”>In Chapter 10, we encounter early medieval Christianity as it develops in Europe. One theme in this chapter is Christian pilgrimage (p. 334). Watch the brief video located at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCDUl04lfLsRoman","serif"; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";”> on the pilgrimage (in southern France and northern Spain). Christian pilgrimage links also to the importance of cathedral architecture, relics, the humane service functions of some monasteries and churches, and the meaning for individual piety. Note the rivalry between communities (p. 339) for splendid cathedrals can sound like modern cities trying to out-do each other with major football stadiums, etc. If you had lived in Europe during the Middle Ages, explain whether you would have rather gone on a pilgrimage or on a Crusade. Refer to specific aspects of the journey to justify your choice.
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