chapter  12
4 Pages

Where Next?

WithBilal Badat

The Transformation of Islamic Art During the Sunni Revival is likely to have a continued influence on future studies of medieval Islamic art and architecture. It challenges essentialist, Orientalist, positivist, and ethno-nationalist readings of Islamic art and offers thought-provoking alternatives that incorporate theological, political, sociological, and semiotic modes of interpretation. The impact of Tabbaa's argument in his book will depend on whether alternative theories of the Sunni revival emerge in the future and whether these theories negate or concur with Tabbaa's hypothesis. The Transformation of Islamic Art is a seminal text in the historiography of Islamic art and architecture, in that it has changed the way scholarship has approached and conceptualized moments of change in medieval Islamic architecture. Compared to other fields of art history, the field of Islamic art and architecture is still relatively small and understudied. Tabbaa's arguments are not widely accepted, they have engendered a lively debate that is likely to continue into the future.