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The Gospel According to Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898)

An Annotated Translation of Tabyīn al-kalām (Part 3)

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Christian W. Troll, Charles M. Ramsey and Mahboob Basharat Mughal

The Gospel According to Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) offers an annotated translation of Tabyīn al-kalām (Part 3), a commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew (Chapters 1-5) by one of South Asia’s most innovative public thinkers. Broadly known for his modernist interpretation of Islam, Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) appears here as a contemplative mystic who is determined to show the interrelated nature of the Bible and Qur’ān, and the affinity of Christian and Muslim scriptural exegesis.

Uncommon in the history of Christian-Muslim relations, Sayyid Ahmad Khan presents what can only be described as a serious reading of the Gospel. The work includes an extensive introduction to the early Church in general, and the development of the Trinitarian doctrine in particular. Never before presented in English, the text sheds important new light upon the spiritual and intellectual journey of this leading modern interpreter.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The Division of Labour, The Politics of the Imagination and The Concept of Federal Government

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Michael Sonenscher

This is a book about the political thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Its aim is to explain why, for Rousseau, thinking about politics – whether as democratic sovereignty, representative government, institutionalised power, imaginative vision or a moment of decision – lay at the heart of what he called his “grand, sad system.” This book tracks the gradual emergence of the various components of that system and describes the connections between them. The result is a new and fresh interpretation of one of Europe’s most famous political thinkers, showing why Rousseau can be seen as one of the first theorists of the modern concept of civil society and a key source of the problematic modern idea of a federal system.

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Christoph Sander

Why does a magnet attract iron, why does a compass needle point north? While the magnet or lodestone was known since antiquity, magnetism became one of the most important topics in early modern natural science and technology. In Magnes Christoph Sander explores this fascinating subject and draws, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the early modern research on magnetism (c. 1500–1650). The study examines in breadth, covering all disciplines of this epoch, what scholars understood by ‘magnet’ and ‘magnetism,’ the properties they ascribed to it, in which instruments and practices magnetism was employed, and how they tried to explain this exciting phenomenon. This historical panorama is unpreceded and based on around 1500 historical sources, including over 100 manuscripts.

Public Baths and Bathing Habits in Late Antiquity

A Study of the Evidence from Italy, North Africa and Palestine A.D. 285-700

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Sadi Maréchal

In this book Sadi Maréchal examines the survival, transformation and eventual decline of Roman public baths and bathing habits in Italy, North Africa and Palestine during Late Antiquity. Through the analysis of archaeological remains, ancient literature, inscriptions and papyri, the continued importance of bathhouses as social hubs within the urban fabric is demonstrated, thus radically altering common misconceptions of their decline through the rise of Christianity and elite seclusion. Persistent ideas about health and hygiene, as well as perpetuating ideas of civic self-esteem, drove people to build, restore and praise these focal points of daily life when other classical buildings were left to crumble.

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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.

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, Kitan) will be explored in a systematic way. The first volume Buddhism in Central Asia (Part I): Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage, 6-14th Centuries based on the start-up conference held on May 23rd–25th, 2018, at CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) 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 Augustinian Art and Meditation in Renaissance Florence, Antonia Fondaras reunites the fifteenth-century altarpieces---including works by Botticelli, Piero di Cosimo, and Filippino Lippi---first commissioned 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 the altarpieces and the role of those works in fashioning a choir space that serves the friars’ institutional and spiritual ideals. Fondaras includes a close reading of the choir’s most compelling and original altarpieces, which reveals the institution of a sophisticated meditational practice focused on those paintings and grounded in the thinking of Augustine.

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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.