Colloque international : « Synagogue, church, mosque: connections and conversions » (Istanbul, 16-18 novembre 2017)

Colloque international : « Synagogue, church, mosque: connections and conversions » (Istanbul, 16-18 novembre 2017)

Organized by Sabine Frommel (EPHE PSL) and Johan Mårtelius (SRII) with the collaboration of Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut)

Venue: Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), Istiklal Caddesi 247, Beyoğlu, Istanbul
The conference considers interactions, transformations and conversions of religious buildings as a result of diverse interventions and influences over a large span of time. A comparative analysis substantially adds to our understanding of the architectural essence connected to the three Abrahamic religions. With their shared roots in the eastern Mediterranean region, through many centuries interactions have taken place in many parts of Europe, in the Arab world, the Ottoman empire and beyond. The transformation of the architectural structures, the change of ornamentation, bearing new signification and symbolic values, will be considered in detail. The genesis of the projects for synagogues, churches and mosques will be investigated by the roles of architects, patrons and the religious communities, as well as of established conventions and innovative aspirations.

Thursday 16 November

Sabine Frommel (EPHE, PSL), Johan Mårtelius (SRII) & Gerhard Wolf (KHI in Florence, MPI)


14.30 Mattia Guidetti (University of Vienna)/Yuri Marano (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna) : Synagogues, churches and mosques in the first millennium: Discourses and practices of conversion

15.15 Felix Arnold (DAI, Madrid) : Constructing congregational space: Diverging concepts of early synagogue and church architecture

16.00 Coffee break

16.30 Bianca Kühnel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) : The heritage of the Temple and the Temple Mount in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic architecture

17.15 Christoph L. Frommel (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome) : Paul II’s sanctuary of the Santa Casa in Loreto and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

18.00 Fernando Valdes (University of Toledo) : The mosque of Bab al-Mardum (Toledo, Spain) and the survival of Roman law in the urbanism of the Islamic city

Friday 17 November


9.00 Olof Heilo (SRII) : Transformation of the church of Saint John in Damascus into the Umayyad mosque

9.45 Francine Giese (University of Zurich) : Shifting attitudes: The mosque-cathedral of Cordoba and its cultural layers

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Bilge Ar (Istanbul Technical University) : Byzantine churches converted into mosques in the period of Mehmet II

11.45 Gerhard Wolf (KHI in Florence, MPI) : Between Distance and Proximity: Religious Architecture versus Sacred Topography. Sites, Non-sites and Landscapes

12.30 Lunch break


14.00 Pedro Galera Andreu (University of Jaén) : The “rotunda” as funerary space in Islamic architecture and in western cathedrals: The case of Spain

14.45 Manuel Parada López de Corselas (The Spanish National Research Council, Madrid): Central plans in Castilla from an intercultural perspective (14th to 16th centuries)

15.30 Henrik Karge (TU Dresden) : Cross-culture in a royal Cistercian abbey: Las Huelgas de Burgos

16.15 Coffee break

16.45 Johan Mårtelius (SRII) : Architectural reflections of churches in Ottoman mosques

17.30 Dario Donetti/Lorenzo Vigotti (KHI in Florence, MPI) : Migrating inventions: The case of the double-shelled domes in Sultanyeh and Santa Maria del Fiore

18.15 Peyvand Firouzeh (KHI in Florence, MPI) : Beggar’s bowl, mosque imagery and metaphors: The entanglements between the humble and monumental

Saturday 18 November


9.00 Gül Cephanecigil (Istanbul Technical University) : Church-Prison-Mosque: Conversion of Surp Asdvadzadzin Church in Gaziantep

9.45 Nebahat Avcioglu (Hunter College, New York) : Modernity of the mosque

10.30 Jean-Michel Leniaud (EPHE) : Enseignement, prière collective, sacrifice: Quelques questions sur l’organisation interne des lieux de culte juifs, chrétiens et musulmans

11.15 Coffee break

11.45 Sabine Frommel (EPHE) : Synagogue, church, mosque in Italian paintings of the 14th and 15th centuries

12.30 Gerhard Wolf (KHI in Florence, MPI) : Concluding remarks

12:45 Final discussion

13.30 Lunch

Scientific secretary: Manuel Parada López de Corselas

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