Rose Blossoms, Ashura Pudding, and a ‘Golden Trophy’: Embodied Material Traces of Islamic Mysticism in Ottoman Hungary

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


This study examines three of the most iconic sites associated with Islamic mysticism, or Sufism, in Ottoman Hungary. These are three mausoleums located in Buda, Pécs, and Turbék, near Zigetvár. The first two are the final resting places of the Sufi mystics known as Gül Baba and Idris Baba. The third is Sultan Süleyman’s mausoleum next to a Sufi dervish lodge, the foundations of which were uncovered during recent excavations. The research sheds light on the (embodied) material practices associated with these sites, as well as their sensory engagement and synaesthetic experiences. The bodies of the spiritual leaders, presented in the first two cases, serve as living sites of mystical experiences, both through self-destructive acts graphically represented on their bodies, and
through bodily miracles such as hypercorporeality, multilocality, and dream visions. The third case concerns the body of a secular and a spiritual leader, the temporary burial of his disemboweled and embalmed body in the mausoleum at Turbék, and the tradition that his heart and entrails were kept in a reliquary-like vessel at the site, which interestingly paralleled contemporary Habsburg customs. Building on Thomas Csordas (1990) and Manuel Vásquez (2011), I explore the role of human and non-human “supernatural” actors interacting in these mystical
networks, focusing on the role of their embodiment and materiality, their movement and their physically fragmented bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberRFMR 2285584
Pages (from-to)439-456
Number of pages18
JournalMaterial religion : the journal of objects, art and belief
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 603909 Religious studies


  • Sufism
  • Materiality
  • Body-marking
  • Branding
  • Scarification
  • Mortification of the flesh
  • Dream visions
  • Multilocation
  • Hypercorporality
  • Evisceration
  • Heart burial
  • Relics
  • sufism
  • scarification
  • body-marking
  • branding
  • relics
  • mortification of the flesh
  • heart burial
  • materiality
  • multilocation
  • hypercorporality
  • dream visions
  • evisceration


Dive into the research topics of 'Rose Blossoms, Ashura Pudding, and a ‘Golden Trophy’: Embodied Material Traces of Islamic Mysticism in Ottoman Hungary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this