Workshop: Christian and Muslim Saints: Roles and Functions Compared


Cult of Saints Research Project

Thursday 12 November 2015 – Ertegun House, St Giles, Oxford

This one-day workshop will compare the role and function of saints in Christianity and Islam, and explore the very different realities that could lie behind the concept of a ‘saint’. It will explore the similarities and differences within sainthood as it developed in different parts of the Islamic and Christian worlds. This will include such issues as: relations with political power; the use of relics; the emergence of specific types of cult; the function of shrines and pilgrimage thereto; the place of intercession by saints; and their role as exemplars.


Bryan Ward-Perkins (Oxford), ‘The early development of Christian sainthood’

Simon Yarrow (Birmingham), ‘The Cult of Saints in Latin Christendom: New Developments, c.800-1500’

Monica White (Nottingham), ‘Models of Sainthood and Veneration in the Eastern Christian World, 900-1200’

Roderick Grierson (Rumi Institute), ‘Friends of God’: Turkish Sufism and the Conversion of Anatolia’

Azfar Moin (Austin, Texas), ‘Saint Shrines as Objects of Imperial Veneration and Desecration in the Post-Mongol Empires’

Sarah Ansari (RHUL), ‘’A way of life rather than an ideology?’: Sufi saints and the politics of identity in Sindh’

Moin Nizami (OXCIS), ‘The Sufi-‘Alim Nexus: Muslim Mystic Trends in 18-19th c. Northern India’

Miranda Williams (Oxford), ‘Christian and Muslim shared shrines in the Manar al-Athar photo-archive’

Closing remarks: Francis Robinson (RHUL)

Convenors: John Darwin, Bryan Ward-Perkins

There is no fee but places are limited and registration is essential, contact: .

More information on the workshop can be found here.


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