Eighth- and ninth-century Armenia and Caucasian Albania were largely Christian provinces of the then Islamic Caliphate. Although they formed a part of the Iranian cultural sphere, they are often omitted from studies of both Islamic and Iranian history. In this book, Alison Vacca uses Arabic and Armenian texts to explore these Christian provinces as part of the Caliphate, identifying elements of continuity from Sasanian to caliphal rule, and, more importantly, expounding on significant moments of change in the administration of the Marwanid and early Abbasid periods. Vacca examines historical narrative and the construction of a Sasanian cultural memory during the late ninth and tenth centuries to place the provinces into a broader context of Iranian rule. This book will be of benefit to historians of Islam, Iran and the Caucasus, but will also appeal to those studying themes of Iranian identity and Muslim-Christian relations in the Near East.
Eighth- and ninth-century Armenia and Caucasian Albania were largely Christian provinces of the then Islamic Caliphate. Although they formed a part of the Iranian cultural sphere, they are often omitted from studies of both Islamic and Iranian History. In this book, Alison Vacca uses Arabic and Armenian texts to explore these Christian provinces as part of the Caliphate, identifying elements of continuity from Sasanian to caliphal rule, and, more importantly, expounding on significant moments of change in the administration of the Marwanid and early Abbasid periods. Vacca examines historical narrative and the construction of a Sasanian cultural memory during the late ninth and tenth centuries to place the provinces into a broader context of Iranian rule. This book will be of benefit to historians of Islam, Iran and the Caucasus, but will also appeal to those studying themes of Iranian identity and Muslim-Christian relations in the Near East.
In recent years, a steady stream of reportage and commentary has spotlighted a dangerous "Islamist threat" in Southeast Asia. This study, by contrast, offers a very different account. In descriptive terms, this study suggests that such an alarmist picture is highly overdrawn, and it traces instead a pattern of marked decline, demobilization, and disentanglement from state power in recent years for Islamist forces in Southeast Asia. This trend is evident both in the disappointments experienced in recent years by previously ascendant Islamist forces in Indonesia and Malaysia, and in the diminished position of Muslim power brokers in southern Thailand and the Philippines after more than a decade of cooperation with non-Muslim politicians in Manila and Bangkok. In explanatory terms, moreover, this study shows the significance of social and political context. A fuller appreciation of aggression by anti-Islamists and non-Muslims, and of the insecurity, weakness, and fractiousness of Islamist forces themselves, helps to explain the nature, extent, and limitations of Islamist violence, aggression, and assertiveness. This overarching alternative framework not only provides a very different explanation for the "Islamist threat" in Southeast Asia, but also suggests very different policy implications from those offered by specialists on terrorism working on the region.
Mahdis and Millenarians is a discussion of Shiite groups in eighth- and ninth-century Iraq and Iran, whose ideas reflected a mixture of indigenous non-Muslim religious teachings and practices in Iraq in the early centuries of Islamic rule. It demonstrates the period's fluidity of religious boundaries. Particular attention is given to the millenarian expectations and the revolutionary political activities of these sects. Specifically, it seeks to define the term 'millenarian', to explain how these groups reflect that definition, and to show how they need to be seen in a much larger context than Shiite or even Muslim history. The author concentrates, therefore, on the historical-sociological role of these movements. The thesis of the study is that they were the first revolutionary chiliastic groups in Islamic history and, combined with the later influence of some of their doctrines, contributed to the teachings of a number of subsequent Shiite or quasi-Shiite sectarian groups.
Gerald Hawting's book has long been acknowledged as the standard introductory survey of this complex period in Arab and Islamic history. Now it is once more made available, with the addition of a new introduction by the author which examines recent significant contributions to scholarship in the field. It is certain to be welcomed by students and academics alike.
Made up of a number of seminal articles that are translated for the first time in English, this prestigious book from Gregor Schoeler gives a reasoned, informed and comprehensive overflow of how the written and the spoken interacted, diverged and received cultural articulation among the Muslim societies of the first two centuries of the Hijra.
This richly illustrated book provides an unsurpassed overview of Islamic art and architecture from the seventh to the thirteenth centuries, a time of the formation of a new artistic culture and its first, medieval, flowering in the vast area from the Atlantic to India. Inspired by Ettinghausen and Grabar’s original text, this book has been completely rewritten and updated to take into account recent information and methodological advances. The volume focuses special attention on the development of numerous regional centers of art in Spain, North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Anatolia, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as the western and northeastern provinces of Iran. It traces the cultural and artistic evolution of such centers in the seminal early Islamic period and examines the wealth of different ways of creating a beautiful environment. The book approaches the arts with new classifications of architecture and architectural decoration, the art of the object, and the art of the book. With many new illustrations, often in color, this volume broadens the picture of Islamic artistic production and discusses objects in a wide range of media, including textiles, ceramics, metal, and wood. The book incorporates extensive accounts of the cultural contexts of the arts and defines the originality of each period. A final chapter explores the impact of Islamic art on the creativity of non-Muslims within the Islamic realm and in areas surrounding the Muslim world.
In this book the author pursues some of the ideas first set forth in his controversial Introduction to the Other History (1984, in Arabic) in a ground-breaking study of the ways in which the relations between Arabs and non-Arabs developed during the first centuries of Islam. Arabs and Others in Early Islam argues that with the rise of the Arab empire in the seventh century, paradigms of Arab or Islamic identity did not yet exist in their classical forms. In the course of arguing this thesis, Bashear also offers important insights on the social and cultural history of early Islam, including changing attitudes toward bedouins, non-Arabs, and non-Muslims, the notion of Arabia as the Arab homeland, and apocalyptic insecurities. -- Publisher description.
Amid so much twenty-first-century talk of a "Christian-Muslim divide"--and the attendant controversy in some Western countries over policies toward minority Muslim communities--a historical fact has gone unnoticed: for more than four hundred years beginning in the mid-seventh century, some 50 percent of the world's Christians lived and worshipped under Muslim rule. Just who were the Christians in the Arabic-speaking milieu of Mohammed and the Qur'an? The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque is the first book-length discussion in English of the cultural and intellectual life of such Christians indigenous to the Islamic world. Sidney Griffith offers an engaging overview of their initial reactions to the religious challenges they faced, the development of a new mode of presenting Christian doctrine as liturgical texts in their own languages gave way to Arabic, the Christian role in the philosophical life of early Baghdad, and the maturing of distinctive Oriental Christian denominations in this context. Offering a fuller understanding of the rise of Islam in its early years from the perspective of contemporary non-Muslims, this book reminds us that there is much to learn from the works of people who seriously engaged Muslims in their own world so long ago.