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Gedeon, George Saropheme (1963) The 'Ashura Ceremonies in Lebanon. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The present thesis, in two volumes, attempts to convey an eye-witness description of the Ashara' Ceremonies in Lebanon, and an information about their recent development in the last half century. Volume One Chapter One deals with the general features of Shi'ite mourning in Muharram. It treats in detail: the abstinence, the signs of mourning on premises, in apparel and traditional foods, the special religious observances, and the common beliefs connected with Ashura. Chapter Two introduces the Ceremonies themselves and gives information about, their origin, background, growth, and practice. The main items of the ceremonies are: a. Street demonstrations with breast-beating and back scourging; b. Ta'zia Assemblies, both during and outside the 'Ashura season; c. Shabih in two divisions: the Miracle Play and head-wounding. Chapter Three deals with the substance of the ceremonies, namely the Dines, the Ta'zia address, and the shabil Miracle Play, (i.e. volume ii). Chapter lour describes the Ceremonies as actually performed, this, in four typical scenes: the Tasu'a' demonstrations, the 'Ashura Evening ta'zia, the recital of the Masra', and the presentation of the shabih Miracle Play. Chapter Five reviews the development of the Ceremonies in the last half century, with regard to the Reform Camaign launched against them, and the Schools of thought arising as a result. Having assessed the present state of affairs as regards 'Ashura', the Chapter advances a few suggestions for the maintenance of the Ceremonies, then attempts a general forecast as to their future prospects. Volume Two Volume Two is the shabih play proper. It embodies "The Tragedy of Karbala" in five Acts, with an outline of the plot, a critique, and a report on the attitude of the main actors towards their parts. For comparison, it attempts a general criticism of a well-known English work on the subject, namely, Pelly: "The Miracle Play of Hassan and Husein.".

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:24

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