Relics and the Religious Topography of Islamic Cairo

In much of the history of Cairo, relics (athar) were used as markers of authority, and as resources for establishing new religious landscapes and sacred spaces. Writing a preliminary history of the strategic use of relics, however, raises more questions than it provides answers. This presentation will survey key episodes in the engineering of religious landscapes, mapping some of them within the urban topography. Historical and devotional material will be explored, ranging from the Fatimid to the late Ottoman eras.