The Author and the Historical Context
Yasser Tabbaa's The Transformation of Islamic Art During the Sunni Revival is the first book to investigate the impact of the theological tenets of the Sunni revival on contemporaneous transformations in calligraphic, ornamental, and architectural forms across the medieval Islamic world. He argues that the Abbasids created and systematized artistic forms such as calligraphy, arabesque, and muqarnas to function as visual signs of the Sunni revival, thus facilitating the reemergence of the Abbasid caliphate in a more orthodox image. Tabbaa has taught and published widely in the field of Islamic art and architecture for over 30 years. Working at the intersection of politics, social history, religion, and aesthetics, he has written numerous books and articles on a wide variety of subjects including Islamic art and architecture, Islamic gardens, poetics, Islamic ornament, and Islamic calligraphy. Tabbaa obtained his PhD in 1983 from New York University.