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Session Chair: Bernd Otto | Friday, August 28, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

Marcela Garcia-Probert

Amulets under the light of ziyāra

Amulets are widely used and play an important role in the popular religiosity of Palestinian Muslims. Amulets have mainly been studied from the perspective of magical practices where they have been considered, following a very general reading of the Sunni canonical discourse, as part of deviant practices from the mainstream Islam. Amulets, however, should also be understood as a means to get blessings within the context of ziyāra. Ziyāra which although lacking the authority of Scripture, it is a widespread phenomenon of visiting tombs and shrines of holy persons that involves complex rituals and material culture. This paper aims to examine some selected amulets from the Tawfik Canaan Collection of Palestinian Amulets obtained and used in connexion with the ziyāra rituals, analysing their role in the religious life of certain Palestinian Muslim communities in connexion with their own practice and conception of Islam.

Augusto Cosentino

The exorcisms of King Solomon

There is a tradition in Jerusalem, according to which King Solomon possesses powers of exorcism. The Judeo-Christian text titled "Testament of Solomon" speaks of these powers and of the fight of Solomon against demons. According to this ideology, there are many amulets which describe King Solomon fighting against a female demon. This idea developed within a Solomonic fringe of Judaism, and is then taken up within some Christian circles, developing into esoteric forms of magical demonology. It is necessary to point out, even in terminology, the fine line between magic and exorcism: in the case of Solomon this border is not entirely clear. It is possible that the development of the topos of Solomon as magician affected the traditions about Jesus. It should be noted that after the closure of the sanctuary of Solomon in Jerusalem, the objects contained in it were moved into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


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