- Dargāh or Buddha? The politics of building a Sufi sanctuary for Hazrat Inayat Khan in the West
- Journal of Sufi Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Recent studies of the dissemination of Islamic architecture in the West have argued that newly devised Islamic buildings would not have attempted to materialise a generalised Islamic identity towards a generalised non-Islamic antagonist. Instead, patrons were shown to have recombined elements from venerated prototypes into whole new iconographies that closely followed internal theological rivalries. In the Dutch dunes near Katwijk a Sufi temple was built in commemoration of the Chishti sage Inayat Khan (d. 1927), a monument which serves as a clarifying case study of the seemingly confusing phenomenon where a shared example from Islamic architectural history, in this instance the Taj Mahal, may be transformed in the modern western landscape in such a manner that neither the prototypical origin nor the contemporary connection between the end results would be recognizable to anyone but a very small number of insiders. Based on a complete chronological reconstruction of the design process of the Katwijk temple, it appears that major shifts in the iconography of this ‘Universel’ occurred even in mid-construction, alternating with competing successors to Inayat Khan and their divergent interpretations of their master’s theological legacy as either Islamic or universal.
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