The Transformation of the Prophet Moses Festival in Late Ottoman Jerusalem (1850-1917): From Traditional Pilgrimate to Civil Ritual

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An Islamic festival in honor of the Prophet Moses (mawsim al-Nabi Musa) in late Ottoman Jerusalem (1850-- 1917) represents a unique response to the modern changes in fin de siecle Jerusalem. A new social order emerged during the modern era that granted Ottoman officials and urban notables in Jerusalem greater political authority over peasants and rural leaders. The modern festival introduced new ritual actors, processional routes, images, and pilgrims that defined the Ottoman state as modern, yet still committed to traditional culture. It also heralded the authority of the urban over the rural environment.

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