Search results1 – 2 of 2
Compared with its status in Islamic history, the mosque today has become a distinctive phenomenon, perceived as an identity vessel of contemporary Islamic architecture…
Compared with its status in Islamic history, the mosque today has become a distinctive phenomenon, perceived as an identity vessel of contemporary Islamic architecture that conveys sacred metaphysical meanings. Since the advent of modernity Muslim societies has become increasingly secularized; the relationships of the sacred–secular and the divine-based demythologized knowledge have been deformed. The mosque was glossed over as the sole contemporary sacred edifice that bears metaphysical/Islamic connotations with cultural continuity. Its architecture, meanings and function have gone through a process of metamorphosis, particularly the state mosques. The contemporary mosque as such is facing a “semiological deterioration.” State mosques today are symbolic statements and communicative messages of their rulers’ power and national sovereignty, with a subsidiary role for worship, i.e., the sacred has turned into a secular power metaphor. This led to a state semantic confusion accompanied by a loss in the deeply rooted collective cultural codes of the sacred. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the metamorphosis of the semiological connotation of the contemporary mosque, with a special focus on grand state mosques, and its effects on the architecture of the contemporary mosque.
This paper is theoretical research (no case studies included).
The metamorphosis that the contemporary mosque is experiencing today as a religious edifice with symbolic connotations and architectural iconism is but an effect of the changes that occurred in the concept of the scared and its relationship to the secular in contemporary Muslim communities, as a result of modernity. Such conceptual changes led to altering the deeply rooted cultural codes to be replaced by new intentional codes, used today as vehicles of communication in mosque architecture, especially in grand state mosques. Contemporary state mosques with its new symbolism and semantic meanings have contributed to redefining the concept of the contemporary mosque in general.
Mosque architecture today receives a significant importance. Many conferences and awards are dedicated to celebrating this phenomenon. Attempts to define the criteria and style of the contemporary mosque architecture are mounting. However, rarely there are studies that defy such attempts in a critical manner. This research seeks to criticize such approaches by highlighting the essence of the transformation in mosque architecture and its relationship to the concepts of the sacred and the secular, from a semiological perspective.
This paper aims to assess the contemporary paradigm of urban utopia’s ability to fulfil its goals and to evaluate its attainability in the first place. Its main question…
This paper aims to assess the contemporary paradigm of urban utopia’s ability to fulfil its goals and to evaluate its attainability in the first place. Its main question is: are contemporary urban utopias achievable? If not, is there an alternative?
In light of modern urban utopia’s failure to achieve the “good city/society,” skepticism regarding utopianism has prevailed. However, many scholars stress the significance of utopianism, calling for its revival. Recently, a new paradigm of urban utopia has emerged; one that stems from present capitalist urban conditions and requires resolving its ills. It puts great emphasis on rights as a means to accomplish the good society and the just city. This research critically examines contemporary urban utopia to evaluate its ability to fulfill its goals. It poses questions such as: Does capitalism facilitates achieving its goals? Could rights as a means achieve the good city/society? If not, is there an alternative? To answer these questions, a substantially different perspective, that of Islam (as a societal system), is used as a utopic paradigm that could open up new paths for developing an alternative utopia.
It is found that despite the focus of both the Islamic societal system and mainstream contemporary urban utopia is on the concept of rights, vital dissensions exist between the two models regarding the concept of rights per se. Hence, the urban utopia of the good city and society is achievable, yet, it cannot transpire within the capitalist kaleidoscope.
Recently, discussions on what constitutes the future city and the alternative conceptions to the (Western) post-Enlightenment approaches generally offered in the English language planning literature have been on the rise. Therefore, this paper contributes to this debate through critically assessing Western contemporary urban utopias from a non-Western perspective, that of Islam. It introduces an alternative model based on Islamic urbanism that could open doors for deeper thinking regarding the alternative future/good city.