‘Āshūrā’, or, Torturous Memory as a Condition of Possibility of an Unconditional Promise

Jalal Toufic

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

Abstract

Al-Husayn, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad and the son of the first Shi‘ite imam, ‘Alī, was slaughtered alongside many members of his family in the desert in 680. This memory is torture to me. But, basically, one can say this memory is torture to me of every memory, since each reminiscence envelops at some level the memory of the origin of memory, the torture that had to be inflicted on humans in order to make them remember (Nietzsche). The memory that the yearly commemoration of ‘Āshūrā’ is trying to maintain is not only or mainly that of the past, but the memory of the future, that of the promise of the Parousia of the twelfth imam, the awaited Mahdī, notwithstanding the passage of a millennium since his occultation; as well as the corresponding promise of Twelver Shi‘ites to wait for him.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2019
EventThe Performance of Lament as Production of ‘Cultural Intimacy’: From the Ritual of the Ashura to Contemporary Artistic Practices - Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens, Greece
Duration: 23 Nov 2019 → …

Symposium

SymposiumThe Performance of Lament as Production of ‘Cultural Intimacy’: From the Ritual of the Ashura to Contemporary Artistic Practices
Country/TerritoryGreece
CityAthens
Period23/11/19 → …

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