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Edited by Ralph W. Hood and Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor

The 30th volume of Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion consists of two special sections, as well as two separate empirical studies on attachment and daily spiritual practices. The first special section deals with the social scientific study of religion in Indonesia. Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country whose history and contemporary involvement in the study of religion is explored from both sociological and psychological perspectives. The second special section is on the Pope Francis effect: the challenges of modernization in the Catholic church and the global impact of Pope Francis. While its focus is mainly on the Catholic religion, the internal dynamics and geopolitics explored apply more broadly.

The Shīʿīs in Palestine

From the Medieval Golden Age until the Present

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Yaron Friedman

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Jinbo Shi

This book is the first comprehensive introduction to the Tangut script and grammar, materials and manuscripts, and the historiography of Western Xia in any language. Five of the fifteen chapters survey the history of the Tangut Empire, the historiography of Tangut Studies, as well as new advancements in the field, notably research on the recently decoded Tangut cursive writings found in Khara-Khoto social, economic and military documents. The other ten chapters formally introduce the Tangut language: its linguistic origins, characters, grammars, translations, textual and contextual readings. In this synthesis of historical narratives and linguistic analysis, renowned Tangutologist Shi Jinbo offers specialists and general audience alike a guided access to the mysterious civilisation of the ‘Great State White and High’.

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Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree

With the birth of a serial press in the seventeenth century, the introduction of paid advertising was the most crucial step in pointing the newspaper industry towards a sustainable future. Here, as in so much else, the laboratory of invention was the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. In this study, based on an exhaustive examination of the first 6,000 advertisements placed in Dutch newspapers between 1620 and 1675, Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree chart the growth of advertising from an adjunct to the book industry, advertising newly published titles, to a broad reflection of a burgeoning consumer society. Businesses and private citizens used the newspapers to offer a wide range of goods and services, publicise new inventions, or appeal for help in recovering lost and stolen goods, pets or children. In these evocative, colourful and sometimes deeply moving notices, we see the beginnings of marketing strategies that would characterise the advertising world over the following centuries, and into the modern era.

Smuggling the Renaissance

The Illicit Export of Artworks Out of Italy, 1861-1909

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Joanna Smalcerz

Smuggling the Renaissance: The Illicit Export of Artworks Out of Italy, 1861-1909 explores the phenomenon of art spoliation in Italy following Unification (1861), when the international demand for Italian Renaissance artworks was at an all-time high but effective art protection legislation had not yet been passed.
Making use of rich archival material Joanna Smalcerz narrates the complex and often dramatic struggle between the lawmakers of the new Italian State, and international curators (e.g., Wilhelm Bode), collectors (e.g., Isabella Stewart Gardner) and dealers (e.g., Stefano Bardini) who continuously orchestrated illicit schemes to export abroad Italian masterpieces. At the heart of the intertwinement of the art trade, art scholarship and art protection policies the author exposes the socio-psychological dynamics of unlawful collecting.

Buddhism in Central Asia I

Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage

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Edited by Carmen Meinert and Henrik Sørensen

The ERC-funded research project BuddhistRoad aims to create a new framework to enable understanding of the complexities in the dynamics of cultural encounter and religious transfer in pre-modern Eastern Central Asia. Buddhism was one major factor in this exchange: for the first time the multi-layered relationships between the trans-regional Buddhist traditions (Chinese, Indian, Tibetan) and those based on local Buddhist cultures (Khotanese, Uyghur, Tangut, Khitan) will be explored in a systematic way. The first volume Buddhism in Central Asia (Part I): Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage is based on the start-up conference held on May 23rd–25th, 2018, at CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) and focuses on the first two of altogether six thematic topics to be dealt with in the project, namely on “patronage and legitimation strategy” as well as “sacred space and pilgrimage.”

Byzantium in the Time of Troubles

The Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes (1057-1079)

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Eric McGeer and John Nesbitt

The years before and after the battle of Manzikert (1071) mark a turning point in the history of the Byzantine Empire. The invasions of the Seljuk Turks in the east and the encroachment of the Normans from the west altered the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and forced the Byzantines to confront new threats to their survival. These threats came at a time when internal rivalries made an effective military response all but impossible and led to a significant transformation of the Byzantine polity under the Komnenoi.
The Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes, now translated for the first time, provides a contemporary view of these troubled times. An extension of the principal source for the middle Byzantine period, and a subtle reworking of the History of Michael Attaleiates, the Continuation offers a high court official’s narrative of the events and personages that shaped the course of Byzantine history on the eve of the Crusades.

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Edited by Brian C. Brewer and David M. Whitford

Those who have a passing knowledge of John Calvin’s theology and reforms in Geneva in the sixteenth century may picture the confident and mature theologian and preacher without appreciating the various events, people, and circumstances that shaped the man. Before there was Protestantism’s first and eminent systematic theologian, there was the French youth, the law student and humanist, the Protestant convert and homeless exile, the reluctant reformer and anguished city leader. Snapshots of the young Calvin create a collage that give a bigger picture to the grey-bearded Protestant reformer. Eleven scholars of early-modern history have joined in this volume to depict the people, movements, politics, education, sympathizers, nemeses, and controversies from which Calvin immerged in his young adulthood.

The Choir Altarpieces of Santo Spirito 1480-1510

Augustinian Art and Meditation in Renaissance Florence

Antonia Fondaras

In The Choir Altarpieces of Santo Spirito, 1480-1510, Antonia Fondaras reunites the fifteenth-century altarpieces painted by Botticelli, Piero di Cosimo, Filippino Lippi, and other masters for the choir of the Augustinian church of Santo Spirito in Florence. Departing from a conventional focus on artist and patron, the author illuminates the engagement of the Augustinian Hermit friars with the composition and iconography of these pictures, and discusses how they were used to fashion the choir into a space suited to the friars’ institutional and spiritual ideals. Fondaras includes a close reading of the choir’s most compelling and original altarpieces, which were grounded in the writings of Augustine and provided a focal point for the friars’ sophisticated meditative practices.

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Edited by Hans-Ulrich Wiemer and Stefan Rebenich

Few Roman emperors enjoy such fame as Flavius Claudius Iulianus – although he was sole ruler of the Roman Empire for only eighteen months (361-363). Since his early death he has been known as Julian the Apostate – the nephew of Constantine the Great who in vain tried to reverse the transformation of the Imperium Romanum into a Christian Empire. This companion synthesizes research on Julian conducted in many languages over the last decades and develops new perspectives. The authors scrutinize the voluminous and variegated sources for Julian's life and rule and reflect on the perceptions of modern research. Since Julian is the subject of scholarly discussion in various fields, this companion offers an interdisciplinary dialogue in which experts from many countries participate.

Contributors are Bruno Bleckmann, Scott Bradbury, Peter Heather, Arnaldo Marcone, Neil McLynn, Hans-Günther Nesselrath, Stefan Rebenich, Christoph Riedweg, Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner, Peter van Nuffelen, Konrad Vössing, Hans-Ulrich Wiemer.