Time Sticks: How Islam and Other Cultures Have Measured Time

"'Time Sticks': How Islam and Other Cultures Have Measured Time," is an abridged version of the inaugural lecture that CCAS Director Dr. Barbara Stowasser delivered in honor of her assumption to Georgetown University's Sultanate of Oman Chair in Arabic and Islamic Literature in the fall of 2010. Dr. Stowasser examines the five daily prayers of Sunni Islam in order to explore how the "day" and the "hour" are structured in Islamic tradition, in Islamic science, and how they are being reconfigured in the age of globalization. "Measurement and management of time are cultural constructs," she writes, noting that older notions of time can "stick around" for a long while. "Reading the sky for the five prayers of the day and for the 12 months of the year is a constant reminder of divine power and providence," she concludes.

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