[CIS 3.2 (2007) 133-144] Comparative Islamic Studies (print) ISSN 1740-7125 doi: 10.1558/cis.

v3i2.133 Comparative Islamic Studies {onWne) ISSN 1743-1638

Odors of Sanctity: Distinctions of the Holy in Early Christianity and Islam
University of Mississippi

Medieval scholars and cultural historians have recently turned their attention to the question of "smells " and what olfactory sensations reveal about society in general and perceptions of holiness in particular. In this paper, I examine how early Christians and Muslims linked notions of the "sweet smell of sanctity " with ideas of the body and sexuality. I demonstrate that early Christians associated the body's sweet smells with salvation and spiritual transformation usually linked with asceticism. Christian bodies, even riddled with decay and decomposition through harsh asceticism, or transformed through virginity, wafted the sweet smell of sanctity. Early Muslims associated the body's odors with sanctity with purity. The use of perfumes and scent provided a glimpse into the pleasures of Paradise. Both traditions, in different ways, warned against the power of scent associated with women and female sexuality because they function to tempt and distract men from God. Several medieval scholars and cultural historians have recently turned their attention to the question of smells and what olfactory sensations reveal about society in general and perceptions of holiness in particular.' These studies have all agreed on one very important point: members of the modem world fail to appreciate the importance odors once played in daily life, religious epistemology, and ritual. Compared with our fairly sanitized lives, we might imagine the medieval olfactory landscape to be filled with the stench of human excrement, refuse, and disease accompanied with soothing floral scents and perfumes. The wealthy enjoyed the more luxurious scented oils, incense, and unguents. In late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, smells defined how a person encountered the Divine and oftentimes informed how individuals located themselves in society. Smells—both fragrant and foul—permeated the environment, transgressing boundaries of private/public and sacred/secular. Many scholars also agree that odors are particularly potent within religious ritual and ceremony because they are at once radically individual (recalling personal memories and emotions more powerfully than any other sensory stimulus) and communal (binding a group together through a shared sensory experience).- Distinctive odors can mark the transition between certain cognitive categories such as sacred and profane space; salvation and damnation; or historical time and eternity.^ In religious rituals, specific smells oftentimes indicate
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Mary Thurkill

liminality—the transitional place betwixt and between known structures. Both Christian and Muslim traditions, for example, identify the "holy" with the paradisiacal, sweet fragrances of flowers and exotic spices. The effusive smell of roses wafting from a Christian corpse confirms the saint's location between heaven and earth: the corporal form still bound to this world while the spirit is present in Paradise. Both Christian and Muslim audiences recognize the bodies of martyrs and saints—tied to both this world and the next—after smelling glorious odors symbolic of their virtue and sanctity. In this paper, 1 will link these notions of odor—associated with passage and liminality—to an understanding of the body within early Christianity and Islam. In late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, Christians viewed the body with profound ambivalence and sometimes disgust. The body was at once the temple of God and also the source of temptation; Gal. 5.17 declared that "... what the ftesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the ftesh." Yet humanity encountered God through the body's senses, seeing and even smelling the fragrance of God and His creation. Augustine (d. 430) described his sensual encounter with the Divine in his Confessions: You called me; you cried aloud to me; you broke my barrier of deafness. You shone upon me; your radiance enveloped me; you put my blindness to flight. You shed your fragrance about me; I drew breath and now I gasp for your sweet odour. I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am inflamed with love of your peaee.'' This encounter between the supplicant and the fragrant God requires a salvific experience—initiated by God—that successfully transforms the body, transmuting the sinful to the spiritual, including the senses. Sensory inversion oftentimes accompanies this spiritual transformation, making the foul fragrant and the fragrant foul. The fifth-century Syriac saint Symeon Stylite's harsh austerity left him with a worm-infested waist decayed from a tightly wound rope, yet his body wafted the "sweet smells of asceticism."5 God transformed the body, even in various states of decomposition, into a fragrant sacrifice. In contrast, when a group of Christian Syrian villagers converted to Islam in the eighth century, they were identified by their odor: But they [the converts] grew different from the faithful people in both person and name; in person, because their once happy appearance became repugnant, in such a way that they were recognized by the intelligent ones through their persons, odor and the look of their eyes... instead of a sweet odor of the holy myron a stinking and fetid smell emanated from them."* Hagiographers related the transformed, Christian body with sweet-smelling aromas and the apostates, formerly fragrant believers, with stench. This signaled the Christians' status as heirs to Paradise and eternal life and the unbelievers as doomed to death and decay.
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Odors of Sanctity


In Islamic texts, on the other hand, God does not require such a transformation through asceticism or belief in Christ's salvific act because the body, complete with all its senses, is not the locus of sin in need of spiritual renovation. According to Muslim theology, human beings encounter God and enjoy His creation through their senses. The flesh and sensual pleasures, far from being associated with primeval sin or obligatory redemption, number among God's creation and, therefore. His wondrous gifts. Instead of focusing on the wretched sinful body transformed through Christ, Muslim authors concentrate on humanity's constant slippage from purity to impurity and back again; throughout the day, legal pollution occurs via biological functions of elimination, excretion, or emissions. After ritualized cleansing (either wudü, lesser ablutions, or ghiisl, complete lustration), the body returns to its pure state, again able to commune with God. Paradise promises an existence filled with sensual pleasure without the constant threat of pollution. Odors of sanctity do not signify a body's spiritual transformation as in Christianity but a body perfected in its purity. Odors of Antiquity Before moving to an explanation of both Christian and Muslim discussions of the body and sensuality, however, 1 must first survey the popular fragrances found throughout the Mediterranean world and some of their uses. Because of active Arabo-Roman trade routes, Jewish, Greco-Roman, and early Christian communities shared many popular smells with the Middle East. Southern Arabia and India furnished exotic spices and resins; the Romans stripped Judea of its balsam and fragrant woods; and Syria produced spices such as cinnamon and cassia.' Two major trade routes existed to supply the Mediterranean world with its spices and perfumes. An overland trade route funneled spices from India by sea, with a stop at southern Yemen, across western Arabia using pack-animals, and finally stopping at Gaza as the terminus point. Mediterranean audiences coveted Indian spices including cinnamon, pepper, cardamon, and sandalwood as well as frankincense and myrrh grown along the southern Arabian coast.* A second route, mostly by sea, collected Indian spices and Arabian incense at the major Yemeni port, Qana', and then transported them to Roman Egypt for distribution.' Incense and spices found a competitive market, especially from ca. second century B.C.E. to the second century C.E., as they provided most of the key ingredients for both domestic and distinctly sacred aromatic recipes. For more domestic/secular occasions, both men and women used fragrances to anoint their bodies, the hair and breasts in particular. Perfumed unguents were generally applied to the skin and perfumed oil to the hair. Herodotus, a fifth-century B.C.E. Greek historian, links sweet smells with sexuality; he notes that wealthy Babylonians sat over burning incense to scent their bodies before
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Mary Thurkill

sex.i» Pre-Islamic poet Imru al-Qays identified his various lovers by the smells of musk and cloves." As an ancient form of aromatherapy, people from all social classes understood fragrance to brighten dreams, heal the soul.'^ and according to Prov. 27.9, "...make the heart glad." Romans anointed their bodies at the unctarium located at the Roman baths, and incensed their homes as a form of exorcism.'^ Romans also anointed their homes' entryways with perfumed unguents. Middle Easterners burned frankincense to fumigate both homes and clothes. In these domestic circumstances, odor marked the transition from public to private as the guest entered a fragrant home, oftentimes distinguished as wealthy or poor by the quality of incense/unguents used. Fragrance and incense also inundated sacred space throughout the ancient Mediterranean world. Greco-Romans sacrificed both animals and incense to their deities; while many spices and perfumes were reserved for the wealthy, frankincense came fairly cheaply because everyone used it in offerings. Romans even scented the gods' statues and temple walls for the divinities' pleasure.'" Jewish sacred texts described temple sacrifice replete with complicated formulae for incense offerings (Exod. 30.7-8), anointing oils (Exod. 30.7-8), and frankincense used with grain offerings (Lev. 2.1,14). An incense altar stood in front ofthe Holy of Holies, the most sacred area ofthe Jewish tabernacle/ temple, and priests burned the sacrifices twice a day (morning and evening).'^ In both systems, the sweet smell of sanctity delineated sacred space from the mundane and comprised a pleasing offering to the god/gods via the sacrificial smoke rising from the altars into the heavens. In imitation ofthe odoriferous offering in Jerusalem, Jews in the Diaspora (post-70 C.E., when Romans destroyed the temple) correlated virtuous lives and even ascetic acts (e.g., chastity and fasting) to incense offerings. The living constituted sweet "odors of sanctity" instead ofthe formerly required temple sacrifices."* Displaying an evolving interest in a resurrection after death, many Diaspora Jews also disinterred their dead, stripped the bones of remaining flesh, sprinkled them with herbs and incense, and returned the remains to Israel for second burial.'' Even if lost in transit, the bones qualified as a sweet odor to God, assuring their final retrieval from a liminal existence after death to an eschatological reconstitution in the restored Israel.'* Both Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures associated fragrance and sweet smells with Divine presence and sacrificial offerings. Evolving within those cultures, eariy Christians and Muslims assimilated these sensory cues within their own cultic practices while also adapting them to their unique theological and hagiographical purpose. Early Christians most readily associated odors of sanctity with the body's radical transformation; Muslims identified sublime smells with consummate purity and union with the Divine.

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Odors of Sanctity Christianity and Transformation


Christianity allowed the ritual use of incense only after Constantine's Edict of Milan in the fourth century which legalized the religion. Until that time Christian theologians associated fragranee with polytheistic rituals, particularly emperor worship, and condemned its use. As Christianity evolved into a state cult, it integrated incense into the liturgy perhaps as a way to compete with its various pagan counterparts. In a custom easily recognizable by most Romans, incense identified the church as sacred space and the mass as a sacred offering. Church officials also utilized the same basic components in sacred incense and perfumes as those found in most medicines. The basilica's sublime smells probably held various positive associations for their ancient audience: fragrances used to censer the mass and anoint priests, altars, and newly baptized Christians resonated with healing smells, odors prescribed to cure both mind and body," The scented mass also resembled Jewish temple sacrifice: just as the Jewish priest yielded the burnt offering upon the altar "., ,by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord" (Lev, 1,9) the Christian priest recreated Christ's sacrifice as he transformed the Eucharistie bread into the mystical body. The liturgical use of incense mimicked the sacrificial victim's "pleasing odor" rising to the heavens outlined in Jewish ritual. More importantly, however, incense identified the moment of sublime transformation also reminiscent of Jewish animal sacrifice. The Jewish priests did not bum the offerings upon the altar; they "turned the whole offering into smoke" (Lev. 1.9), The particular verbal form used herein emphasizes that the priest did not simply immolate the offering, but "transformed it into smoke" so that it could rise to God, In like manner, the incense marked the Eucharistie transformation from mundane/bread to sacred/body, an act of sweet sacrifice wafting to the heavens, God replicated the sublime transformation ofthe Eucharist among human participants who traded their mundane lives for a spiritual existence. By partaking of Christ's body as food, Christians joined the mystical body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor, 12,12-31), Just as the mass celebrated Christ's physical sacrifice, Christians sought to transform their own bodies as a spiritual sacrifice. The apostle Paul compared such spiritual creatures, triumphant in Christ, with sacrificial odors. In 2 Cor, 2.14-15, he writes: But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.

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Mary Thurkill

Paul's correlation between triumphant Christians and fragrance might allude to the Roman imperial processions almost always shrouded in incense; but, it might also simply recall how holy odors signal Divine presence. By either analogy, Christian bodies transformed by God into sacrificial incense drift not only to the heavens but among their pagan counterparts as well. Early church fathers also identified the transformed, spiritual body with fragrance after unanimously condemning secular uses of perfumes (especially among women) as sinful. In his Second Letter to Virgins, Athanasius (d. 373) wrote: .. .consider other women—how their senses have turned foolish so that they take delight in myrrh and pleasant fragrances that certainly are not "the sweet fragrance of Christ" (2 Cor. 2.15). It is morefittingfor them to be in sackcloth and ashes so that they might preserve their virginity without danger.-" Ambrose (d. 397) boasts that while married women practice deception by applying perfume and make-up to alter their true form, virgins display authentic beauty through their modesty and chastity. Both Ambrose and Jerome (d. 429) even directed holy women to avoid the baths; attending to such sensual pleasures could only lead to sin. Yet Ambrose compares virginal bodies, transformed through asceticism, to the Song of Songs' "garden enclosed": A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed. Your channel is an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices. (Song 12.12-14) According to Ambrose, virgins who live "fenced in by the wall of the Spirit," which included a modest life spent within their homes, became like the "garden enclosed," protected from the outside world.'' The transformed virginal body then exuded the sweet garden smells: See what progress thou settest forth, O Virgin. Thy first odor is above all spices, which were used upon the burying of the Savior, and the fragrance arises from the mortified motions of the body, and the perishing of the delights of the members. The second odour, like the odour of Lebanon, exhales the incorruption of the Lord's body, the flower of virginal chastity." The physical body's transformation resulted in fragrant odors, imitating Christ's own burial ointment, that signaled the virgins sanctity. As Ambrose said, "blessed virgins.. .emit a fragrance through divine grace as gardens do through fiowers, temples through religion, altars through the priest.""

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Odors of Sanctity Islam and Perfected Purity


Islamic texts describing the body and sensual encounters with the Divine never require such a radical spiritual transformation negotiated through sacrifice or asceticism; instead, earthly sensual gratification may be seen as merely a glimpse of paradisiacal delights. The prophet Muhammad, viewed by Muslims as an exemplary guide in piety and virtue, said in one of his most famous statements that "God has made dear to me from your world women, and fragrance, and joy of my eyes in prayer.''^" Tradition confirms Muhammad's love of women in very literal terms; hadith equate the Prophet's sexual prowess, always within legal parameters, to that of thirty to forty men.-' With such sexual stamina, tradition says, Muhammad satisfied his numerous wives without fail. The Prophet also advised his community about the appropriate use of fragrance: men should bathe and perfume themselves for the Friday sermon [khtitba] at the mosque;-^ and, both men and women could use fragrance for sexual encounters with their marriage partners. According to al-Suyuti (d. 1505), the Prophet even encouraged women to wear musk—a hot scent— which would increase the husbands desire and the chance of pregnancy.-' The Prophet chastised women who wore scent to the mosque, however, because it attracted men's attention. He compared women who used perfume for public notice to prostitutes and their prayers remained unheard until they returned home and performed complete lustration [ghusl].-' The Prophet encouraged women to wear perfume but only within their domestic domain, usually as an additional sensual pleasure during sexual intimacy. Ironically, several hadith transmitters describe Muhammad himself as possessing the most beautiful scent ever encountered. According to various reports, the Prophet smelled sweeter than musk, his skin was softer than silk, and perfumers collected his sweat and mixed it with other fragrances to create a superior perfume." Ibn al-Arabi, the twelfth-century Sufi master, offered a more spiritual interpretation of Muhammad's three great loves. According to Ibn al-Arabi, the Prophet's esteem for women, fragrance, and prayer mimics a great cosmic truth also expressed as a triad: God as the Essence [dhat, a feminine noun]; Adam (masculine); and women [nisä', feminine]. Adam, the masculine, stands between two feminine forces—God's Essence which attracts Adam/Man to Himself because he was created in the Divine's own image; and the female, generated from man. In this triad, Adam exists as both the servant of God and the master of woman; as both the passive and the active principle. As such, Adam/Man worships God most fully via his relationship with woman, wherein he is both active (in his love for woman) and passive (in his submission of God). Ibn al-Arabi explains that Muhammad loved "women" because of this cosmic completion:

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Mary Thiirkill the Apostle loved women by reason of [the possibility of] perfect contemplation of the Reality in them... The best and most perfect kind is the contemplation of God in women. The greatest union is that between man and woman... Thus it is that Muhammad's love for women derives from the divine love...'"

In the Prophet's declaration of his three great loves, "perfume" is placed in a similar position as Adam/Man in Ibn al-Arabi's cosmic triad. Perfume [tlb, a masculine noun also associated with goodness] exists between women (feminine) and prayer [salat, also feminine]. Perfume, when viewed as the natural aroma of women, entices Man's soul into his beloved's embrace; perfume, seen as God's goodness or His own sweet-smells, pulls the soul to God, the Eternal Beloved, through prayer. Perfume maintains a kind of liminal position, located between the corporal attraction to women and the spiritual attraction to God. The body's sensual delights also take on a curiously spiritual connotation in Islamic depictions of Paradise. On one level, the Quran and hadith depict Paradise as a feast of physical pleasures; earthly amusements, both sensual and sexual, are merely a shadow of what awaits in Heaven. According to tradition, the soil of Paradise is composed of musk; the winds are scented with perfume; and, the rivers are mixed with water, milk, honey, and wine." The famed 70 houris, or black-eyed virgins, awaiting every pious male are composed of fragrance: musk from feet to knee; amber from knee to breast; and camphor from breast to head.^- Even bodies of the blessed sweat a musk-like scent." Most importantly, however, all sensual pleasures are perfected by the lack of pollution. In Paradise, sensual delights certainly abound: pleasures of taste (eating delicious foods, without gaining weight!); sexual pleasures (uninterrupted orgasm with perfect partners); and pleasures of smell and sight (a lush terrain filled with musk, exotic spices, gems). Yet, none of these pleasures lead to impurity; practically, this means there is no physical evacuation, emission (including semen during intercourse), or menstruation that would require ritual cleansing.^" The Islamic vision of Heaven perfects the body in its sensual desires by curing it of pollution. This traditional view of the Muslim Paradise resides within a larger rhetoric concerned for spiritual purity. Even though the blessed residents of Paradise fulfill themselves in every way imaginable, those experiences pale in comparison to the Beatific Vision of God.^' The body's senses, its desires, its pleasures, the sumptuousness of Paradise itself, for many, appear negligible in God's presence; they fail to satisfy. Al-Ghazali, a twelfth-century mystic, described the inhabitants of Paradise: those closer to God are ever present in His Presence, ever gazing at His Presence, holding in contempt the bliss of the gardens... This is why the

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Odors of Sanctity Apostle of God, may God's praise be upon him, said: The majority of dwellers in Paradise are simpletons [al-biiluhy-


The simpletons, according to al-Ghazali's exegesis, remain enmeshed in the blissful pleasures of Paradise, while the truly pious lose themselves in the ecstasy of God's presence alone. Conclusion Fragrance in the ancient worid filled a variety of functions with multivalent symbolism. Smells, unique among the senses, transgress boundaries: the ancient and early medieval use of fragrance and spices re-enforced and sometimes blurred lines between private/public, sacred/profane, and purity/pollution. Both men and women enjoyed incense and perfume within their domestic routines and sacred rituals. An examination of what these odors generally signified reveals how both Christians and Muslims viewed the body and holiness. Early Christian authors carefully transformed the body into a spiritual form, finally free from corporal limits, through identification with Christ's salvifie act and the performance of ascetic feats. Christian bodies, even riddled with decay and decomposition through harsh asceticism, wafted the sweet smell of sanctity. Augustine described his fragrant encounter with God during his spiritual transformation, and Ambrose explained that holy virgins' scent of holiness transcended Roman women's vain use of perfumes. The naturally sweet smells of myrrh, roses, and perfumes identified the sanctified and virtuous Christian in this life with the promise of Paradise in the next. Islamic views of holiness, however, required no such salvifie experience or ascetic heroism. Muhammad himself testified to the beauties of women, perfume, and prayer in this life, which only foreshadow the pleasures of Paradise. The hadith encourage the use of perfumes and scent within marriage, suggesting that the senses (and the body) can lead to knowledge of God, a theme explored by mystic Ibn al-'Arabi. Once in Paradise, however, sensual pleasure—free from any ritual impurity—pales in comparison to God's presence. Both traditions, in different ways, are concerned for the power of scent associated with women. Christian theologians and Muslim hadith warn men against sweet-smelling women because they tempt and distract. Holy women (sans bath) should avoid the "false" perfumes of vain women and rely upon their odor of sanctity. Muslim women should don fragrance to heighten marital pleasure but must otherwise avoid its use, particularly at the mosque. Men, on the other hand, were encouraged to use it at any time. Such directives, from two patriarchal systems, reveal a shared fear of female sexuality that further complicates Islamic and Christian ideals ofthe body and holiness.

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142 Notes 1,

Mary Thurkill

See, among others, the works of Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination (Berkeley: University of Califomia Press, 2006) and "On Holy Stench: When the Odor of Sanctity Sickens," Studia Patristica: Papers Presented to the International Conference on Patristic Studies 35 ( 1998): 90-101 ; Suzanne Evans, "The Seent of a Martyr," Numen: International Reviewfor the History of Religions 49, no, 2 (2002): 193211 ; A, Alazmeh, "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives," Journal of Arabic Literature 26, no, 3 ( 1995): 215-31 ; and. Marcel Détienne, Gardens of Adonis: Spices in Greek Mythology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994),


See, particularly, Constance Classen, David Howes, and Anthony Synnott, eds,. Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell Ç^QWJ York: Routledge, 1994), Introduction, 3, See David Howes, "Olfaction and Transition," in The Varieties of Sensory Experience: A Sourcebook in the Anthropology ofthe Senses, ed, David Howes (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), 128-47, 4, Augustine, Confessions, trans, R, S, Pine-Coffin (New York: Penguin Books, 1961), X,27,p, 232, 5, Harvey, "On Holy Stench," 94, 6, Chronicle ofZuquin (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1999), Pt, 4 (769-70), trans, Harrak, 324-25, Discussed in Harvey, Scenting Salvation, 126-27, 7, Beatrice Caseau, Euodia: The Use and Meaning of Fragrances in the Ancient World and their Christianization (100-900 AD), Ph,D, diss, (Princeton University, 1994), 29, 8, Frankincense and myrrh are harvested from balsam trees in the Burseraceae family, known as Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora (myrrh). Traditionally (and even today), the trees' bark is stripped in a small area, and the resin is collected. There are more than 25 different species of frankincense trees, with each producing various grades of resin, 9, See the archeological survey ofthe incense trade, focusing on Yemen, in David Peacock and David Williams, eá?,.. Food for the Gods: New Light on the Ancient Incense Trade (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2007), 10, Herodotus, Histories, trans, George Rawlinson (London: Wordsworth Classics, 1996), Book l,ch, 198, 11, See Early Arabic Poetry, II: Select Odes, trans, Alan Jones (Reading: Published by Ithaca for the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University, 1992); discussed in G, J, H, van Gelder, "Four Perfumes of Arabia," Parfums d'orient 11 (1998): 203-12, 12, Classen, Howes, and Synnott, Aroma, 15, 13, Classen, Howes, and Synnoit, Aroma, 16—21, 14, Saara Lilja, The Treatment of Odours in the Poetry of Late Antiquity (Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica, 1972), 34-35; Also, see Classen, Howes, and Synnott, Aroma, 18, 46,
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Odors of Sanctity 15.


A particular fragrance was reserved for YHWH, requiring a special combination of incense items. This signals a special sacred space, marking YHWH'S own dwelling. See C. Houtman, "On the Function of the Holy Incense (Exodus XXX 34-8) and the Sacred Anointing Oil (Exodus XXX 22-33)," Vetus Testamentum 42 (1992): 458-65. See Lionel Rothkrug's description of Rabbinic Judaism's view of incense offering and the dead in "The Odour of Sanctity and the Hebrew Origins of Christian Relic Vénération" Historical Reflections 8, no. 2 (1981): 95-142. Rothkrug, "The Odour of Sanctity and the Hebrew Origins of Christian Relic Veneration," 1 0 3 ^ . See Ezekiel 37. Some scholars regard Ezekiel's discussion of the animation of "dry bones" as an early allusion to an eschatologieal gathering of Israelites (a form of resurrection?). Caseau, Euodia, 7; see also Irene Jacob and Walter Jacob, eds.. The Healing Past: Pharmaceuticals in the Biblical Rabbinic World (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1993). Athanasius, Second Letter to Virgins, 18; trans. David Brakke in Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). Ambrose, Concerning Virgins 1 9. 45-46; NPNF 111. 19, 370. Ambrose, Concerning Virgins I 7.39; NPNF III. 19, 369. Ambrose, Concerning Virgins II 2.18; NPNF 111.19, 376. al-Nasa'i, Kitab 'ishrat an-nisa '. p. 16; Tabaqat Ibn Sa 'd, 1.398. See the various sources discussed in Alazmeh, "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives," 223. SahihBukhari, 13.8. See van Gelder, "Four Perfumes of Arabia," 208. He provides a translation of alSuyuti's Al-Maqama al-miskiyya, a charming literary debate between the personifications of 4 scents: musk, ambergris, saffron, and civet. A "judge" ranks them according to their intrinsic values. Abu Dawud, 33.4162. Sahih Muslim, 30.5761; Sahih Bukhari, 56.761. Ibn al-Arabi, Fustis al-Hikam, or. The Bezels of Wisdom, trans. R. W. J. Austin (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), 275-76. Alazmeh, "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives," 222. Alazmeh, "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives," 227; Boudiba, Sexuality in Islam (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), 75. Sahih Bukhari, 54.468; Alazmeh, "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives," 223. Sahih Muslim, 40.6798. Sahih Muslim, 40.6780. Alazmeh, "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives," 228. Al-Ghazali, Mahabba, 81-82 as quoted in Alazmeh, "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives," 231.
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17. 18.

19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

33. 34. 35. 36.


Mary Thurkitl

References Primary Sources
Ambrose. Concerning Virgins I, II. PL 16. 319-47. Translated in A^PAT 111.19. Athanasius. Second Letter to Virgins, trans. David Brakke. Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. Augustine. Confessions, trans. R. S. Pine-Coffin. New York: Penguin Books, 1961. Chronicle ofZuquin, trans. Amir Harrak. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1999. Hadith collections. Collections of Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud accessed through USAMSA Compendium of Muslim Texts. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/ hadithsunnah/ Herodotus. Histories, trans. George Rawlinson. London: Wordsworth Classics, 1996. Ibn al-Arabi. Fiisus at-Hikam, trans. R. W. J. Austin. The Bezels of Wisdom. New York: Paulist Press, 1980. Select Arabic Poetry, It: Select Odes, trans. Alan Jones. Reading: Published by Ithaca for the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University, 1992.

Secondary Sources
Alazmeh, A. "Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives." Journal of Arabic Lilerature 26, no. 3 ( 1995): 215-31. doi: 10.1163/157006495X00184. Caseau, Beatrice. Euodia: The Use and Meaning ofFragrances in the Ancient World and their Christianization (100-900). Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1994. Classen, Constance, David Howes, and Anthony Synnott, eds. Aroma: The Cidttiral History of Smell. New York: Routledge, 1994. Détienne, Marcel. Gardens of Adonis: Spices in Greek Mythology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994. Evans, Suzanne. "The Scent of a Martyr." Numen: International Review for the History of Religions 49, no. 2 (2002): 193-211. Harvey, Susan Ashbrook. Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006 Harvey, Susan Ashbrook. "On Holy Stench: When the Odor of Sanctity Sickens." Stiidia Patristica: Papers Presented to the International Conference on Patristic Studies 35 (1998): 90-101. Houtman, C. "On the Function of the Holy Incense (Exodus XXX 34-8) and the Sacred Anointing Oil (Exodus XXX 22-33)." Vetus Testamentum 42 (1992): 458-65. doi: 10.2307/1518958. Jacob, Irene, and Walter Jacob, eds. The Healing Past: Pharmaceuticals in the Biblical and Rabbinic World New York: E. J. Brill, 1993. Lilja, Saara. The Treatment of Odours in the Poetry of Late Antiquity. Helsinki: Societas Seientiarum Fennica, 1972. Peacock, David, and David Williams. Foodfor the Gods: New Light on the Ancient Incense Trade. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2007. Rothkrug, Lionel. "The Odour of Sanctity and the Hebrew Origins of Christian Relic Veneration." Historical Reflections 8, no. 2 (1981): 95-142. Van Gelder, G. J. H. "Four Perfumes of Arabia." Parfumes d'orient XI (1998): 203-12.

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