“Bones of Contention: Muslim Shrines in Palestine” - Major international publication officially launched at UWTSD


A major international publication which assesses the significance of Muslim shrines in the modern Middle East has been launched at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. 

Bones of Contention: Muslim Shrines in Palestine by Professor Andrew Petersen sets Muslim shrines within the wider context of Heritage Studies in the Muslim world and considers their role in the articulation of sacred landscapes, their function as sites of cultural memory and their links to different religious traditions. Reviewing the historiography of Muslim shrines paying attention to the different ways these places have been studied, through anthropology, archaeology, history, and religious studies, the text discusses the historical and archaeological evidence for the development of shrines in the region from pre-Islamic times up to the present day.

Andrew Petersen is Director of Research in Islamic Archaeology and Professor of Islamic Archaeology at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter. He has travelled extensively in the Islamic world working on archaeological expeditions and later directing projects, and has written a large number of articles and published four books based on his research.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeology.  Following the launch at the Founders Library on the University’s Lampeter campus, Professor Andrew Petersen said:

“I’m delighted with the interest shown in this new publication and I’m very pleased with the support we had during the official launch at the Founders Library.   I believe that this book will make an important contribution to the field of study and understanding of the historical and cultural context of Muslim shrines in the Middle East.  There is a particular focus on Palestine, where it highlights a number of important aspects relating to shrines, including historic Muslim mausoleums that have survived into the present day.

This book also assesses the significance of Muslim shrines in the modern Middle East, focusing on the diverse range of opinions and treatments from veneration to destruction, and argues that shrines have a unique social function as a means of direct contact with the past in a region where changing political configurations have often distorted conventional historical narratives.  I’m very proud of the final output and I’d like to thank everybody that has contributed to the book for their commitment and support.” 

Muslim Shrines Launch 2

Seth J. Frantzman is a research associate at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya, Israel.  He added:

“The author expertly traces not only history but also the changing status of these shrines from their origins, sometimes as non-Muslim buildings, through to the present where many are threatened with decay or by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.“

Following the excellent response to this publication thus far a further book launch event is planned to take place later in the year at the Kenyon Institute in Jerusalem.   In the meantime, to purchase this book please click on the following links: http://www.palgrave.com/la/book/9789811069642 or https://www.amazon.com/Bones-Contention-Shrines-Palestine-Heritage/dp/9811069646#reader_9811069646 

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk