Matters of the mosque: Changing configurations of buildings and belief in an Istanbul district

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8 Scopus citations


Long acknowledged to be a center for religious pilgrimage, the importance of the Istanbul district of Eyüp is widely understood as being founded upon the figure of Halid bin Zeyd Ebâ Eyyûb el-Ensârî, a Companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Others point to the district's extensive cultural, political and social significance to explain its particular importance. In contrast, this paper avoids such reductive perspectives and argues that assemblage provides one particularly suggestive conceptual framework within which to reconsider Eyüp's significance, glossed in this paper as the ‘matters of the mosque'. Linking that discussion of assemblage to recent scholarship on Islam calling for a greater interrogation of the multiple (and sometimes ambivalent) modalities of religious practice, this paper draws on a series of fieldwork encounters to present one such grounded perspective. Paying particular attention to questions of agency, materiality and belief, this paper argues that assemblage provides an especially rich set of conceptual resources to continue developing new understandings of the practice of Islam; at the same time, this paper's careful attention to questions of belief addresses what has been heretofore underdeveloped in assemblage urbanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-690
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Eyüp
  • Islam
  • Istanbul
  • assemblage
  • materiality
  • practice
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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