Azadeh Yamini-Hamedani: ABSTRACT: "The quest of words unread: Islamic inscriptions in Christian art"

By defining myth as a stage in the development of language (Mueller) where the etymological root of words are most alive and present in the minds of its speakers, the presentation begins by exploring the etymology of the words “quest” and “conquest” in the English/Latin and Persian/Arabic context to arrive at the nuances of each. Asking to what extent the meaning of words reflect and create the reality that surround them, the paper goes on to uncover the spiritual philosophy behind Islamic inscriptions and turns to a definition of myth as second-order semiological system (Barthes) to contemplate the semiotic process behind the emergence of Islamic inscriptions in Medieval Europe:
The Johanneskapelle in Puergg, Austria completed in 1160/65:
Christ on the cross under an arch bearing the name Allah nine times over.
On the walls of a small church in San Giovanello, dating to 1422, the halo around Mary contains the Muslim profession of faith.