- Light, Human Evolution, and the Palaeolithic
- The Role of Darkness in Ancient Greek Religion and Religious Practice
- Darkness and the Imagination: The Role of Environment in the Development of Spiritual Beliefs
- Rediscovering the Winter Solstice Alignment at Newgrange, Ireland
- Light and Shadow Effects in Megalithic Monuments in the Iberian Peninsula
- Sunlight, Divination, and the Dead in Aegean Ritual Tradition
- Illuminating Triangulations: Moonlight and the Mississippian World
- The Chacoan World: Light and Shadow, Stone and Sky
- Animate Shadows of Bears and Giants
- The Beautiful Face of Ra: The Role of Sunlight in the Architecture of Ancient Egypt
- The Handling of Light: Its Effect on Form and Space in the Greek Temple and the Byzantine Church
- In Visible Presence: The Role of Light in Shaping Religious Atmospheres
- Lighting in Muslim and Christian Religious Buildings: A Comparative Study
- Prehistoric Light in the Air: Celestial Symbols of the Bronze Age
- Phenomenology of Light: The Glitter of Salvation in Bessarion’s Cross
- The Light of the Flame: Use and Symbolism of Light and Lighting Devices in Traditional Greek Culture
- Encountering Photoamulets and the Use of Apotropaic Light in Late Antiquity
- Visibility, Privacy, and Missing Windows: Lighting Domestic Space in Ancient Mesopotamia
- Lighting the Good Life: The Role of Light in the Aristocratic Housing System duringLate Antiquity
- Thirty Days of Night: The Role of Light and Shadow in Inuit Architecture, North of the Arctic Circle
- Household Consumption of Artificial Light at Pompeii
- Industrializing Light: The Development and Deployment of Artificial Lighting in Early Factories
- Materializing Light, Making Worlds: Optical Image Projection within the Megalithic Passage Tombs of Britain and Ireland
- Lighting in Reconstructed Contexts: Experiential Archaeology with Pyrotechnologies
- Çatalhöyük: A Study of Light and Darkness—A Photo-essay
- Light and its Interaction with Antiquities and Works of Art: A Conservator’s Perspective
- Lighting and Museum Exhibits
- Modalities of Meaning: Light and Shadow in Archaeological Images
- Reconstructing Artificial Light in Ancient Greece
- The Eleusinian Projector: The Hierophant’s Optical Method of Conjuring the Goddess
- Constructing the Invisible: Light and Darkness in the Topography of Hades
Abstract and Keywords
The symbolic role of lighting in both Islam and Christianity is best mirrored in religious buildings, where light plays an integral role in the spiritual relation between the believers and religion. Differences in terms of the architectural structure demand different lighting devices in mosques and churches. The same can be said about the rituals and the essence of each religion. Apart from the noticeable differences a comparative study between Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches and their contemporaneous mosques reveal that common features in illumination practices do exist, often manifesting cultural exchanges between the two religions. This study aims to highlight these exchanges by presenting in parallel the furnishing of lighting and the lighting devices used in Islamic and Christian religious buildings up to the 16th century while following their evolution and setting them in a broad historical and cultural context. To the same aim the symbolic role of the Light in Orthodox Christianity and Islam will be comparatively discussed.
Maria Sardi holds a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Athens and an MA and PhD in History of Art and Archaeology from SOAS, University of London. She is a lecturer at the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS. She has worked as curatorial team member and guidebook contributor for the Benaki Museum, Athens and has also contributed to the electronic database of the museum's Byzantine, Coptic, Islamic and Chinese collection. She worked as curatorial team member and exhibition catalogue contributor for the exhibition: ‘Light on Light: an Illuminating Story’ at the Folklife and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia & Thrace, Thessaloniki (2011-2012). She organised the interdisciplinary colloquium ‘Lux in Tenebris: Artificial Lighting from Antiquity to the Present’ at the Benaki Museum (2012). She has taught History of Art and Architecture at the Hellenic American Educational Foundation in Athens and at the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS, University of London. Her publications include the article ‘Lighting in the Islamic world’, in Light on light: an illuminating story (2011) and ‘Weaving for the Hajj under the Mamluks’ in The Hajj: Collected Essays (2013). She is currently preparing the publication of her thesis 'Mamluk Textiles in Context'.
Ioannis Motsianos holds a BA in Archaeology and History from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1990). He also earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Museology from the same University (2004). He was awarded the doctoral title for the thesis Joyful light: the artificial lighting in Byzantium, from the University of Thessaly, Greece (2011). He has been working in the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki since 1995. He organized the “Lighting in Byzantium”, 4th International ILA Round–Table, in Thessaloniki (11–14 October 2011) and the Exhibition “Light on Light: an Illuminating Story”, at the Folklife and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia & Thrace, Thessaloniki (31 October 2011-11 June 2012). He is the co-editor of the exhibition catalogue Light on Light: an Illuminating Story, Thessaloniki 2011. He is a member of the ‘International Lychnological Association’ since 2003 and a member of its Committee since 2009. His research interests include artificial lighting in Byzantine and Post-byzantine Period.
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