Presented by author, scholar, and collector Abolala Soudavar

In many societies, wine is an instrument of joy and a ceremonial necessity—yet also the subject of hostility and prohibition. In modern-day Islamic nations, the prevailing religious tradition forbids the consumption of wine. At the same time, the popular culture of these countries celebrates wine in poetry, art, fables, and more, as seen in many of the selections from the Hossein Afshar Collection in the exhibition Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands.

In this talk, Abolala Soudavar explores the development of the opposition to wine in Islamic cultures, revealing motives that were not theological, but political.

About the Speaker
Scholar and collector Abolala Soudavar, who served on the MFAH board of trustees accessions committee from 1986 to 1994, is the author of Art of the Persian Courts; The Aura of Kings: Legitimacy and Divine Sanction in Iranian Kingship; and Mithraic Societies: From Brotherhood Ideal to Religion's Adversary.

• $5 Museum members
• $10 Nonmembers
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Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from MD Anderson Cancer Center; Mitra Mujica-Margolis and Michael Margolis; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; Houston Junior Woman's Club; Mercantil Bank; Mr. William J. Hill; The Windgate Charitable Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Sharon G. Dies; The Powell Foundation; and the Susan Vaughan Foundation.