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Josef van Ess

Edited by Hinrich Biesterfeldt

Kleine Schriften, written by the eminent German scholar of Islamic Studies Josef van Ess, is a unique collection of Van Ess' widely scattered short writings, journal articles, encyclopaedia entries, (autobiographical) essays, reviews and lectures, in (mainly) German, English and French, some of which are published here for the first time. It includes a full bibliography of the author’s work, in addition to two indexes of classical authors and works, which aim to make accessible the remarkable riches that these Kleine Schriften have to offer. The three-volume collection, carefully selected by the author himself, offers over 150 texts organized primarily along Van Ess’ own biography and the history of the discipline. It is divided into twelve parts, beginning with Tübingen where his career began in 1968, and ending with Retrospects and Postscripts for the future, with the thematic complexes Islam and its first options and Muʿtazila as centre pieces. All parts are introduced by brief accounts of the historical context in which each of the assembled texts was written and which course subsequent scholarship may have taken.

Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale Owen-Crocker

An astonishing number of medieval garments survive, more-or-less complete. Here the authors present 100 items, ranging from homely to princely. The book’s wide-ranging introduction discusses the circumstances in which garments have survived to the present; sets and collections; constructional and decorative techniques; iconography; inscriptions on garments; style and fashion. Detailed descriptions and discussions explain technique and ornament, investigate alleged associations with famous people (many of them spurious) and demonstrate, even when there are no known associations, how a garment may reveal its own biography: a story that can include repair, remaking, recycling; burial, resurrection and veneration; accidental loss or deliberate deposition.
The authors both have many publications in the field of medieval studies, including previous collaborations on medieval textiles such as Medieval Textiles of the British Isles AD 450-1100: an Annotated Bibliography (2007), the Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles (2012) and online bibliographies.

Shariʿa Councils and Muslim Women in Britain

Rethinking the Role of Power and Authority

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Tanya Walker

The public debate on Shariʿa councils in Britain has been heavily influenced by the assumption that the councils exist as religious authorities and that those who use them exercise their right to religious freedom. In Shariʿa Councils and Muslim Women in Britain Tanya Walker draws on extensive fieldwork from over 100 cases to argue for a radically different understanding of the setting and dynamics of the Shariʿa councils. The analysis highlights the pragmatic manoeuvrings of Muslim women, in pursuit of defined objectives, within limited space – holding in tension both the constraints of particular frameworks of power, and the realities of women’s agency. Despite this needed nuance in a polarised debate however, important questions about the rights of Muslim women remain.

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Edited by Christopher Hartney and Daniel Tower

This volume significantly advances the academic debate surrounding the taxonomy and the categorisation of ‘indigenous religion’. Developing approaches from leading scholars in the field, this edited volume provides the space for established and rising voices to discuss the highly problematic topic of how indigenous 'religion' can be defined and conceptualised. Constructing the Indigenous highlights the central issues in the debate between those supporting and refining current academic frameworks and those who would argue that present thinking remains too dependant on misunderstandings that arise from definitions of religion that are too inflexible, and from problems caused by the World Religion paradigm. This book will prove essential reading for those that wish to engage with contemporary discussions regarding the definitions of religion and their relations to the indigenous category.

Religious Experience Revisited

Expressing the Inexpressible?

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Edited by Thomas Hardtke, Ulrich Schmiedel and Tobias Tan

Religious Experience Revisited explores a dilemma which has haunted the study of religion since William James. Is religion rooted in experiences? Is religion rooted in expressions? How are experiences and expressions related? The contributors to this international and interdisciplinary compilation explore the possibilities and the impossibilities of a hermeneutics of religion. Combining theology and philosophy with biblical, cultural, historical and literary studies, they examine how religious experiences and religious expressions have been entangled in the past and in the present. These entanglements call for interdisciplinary conversations in which those who study experiences and those who study expressions can learn from each other in order to carve out important and instructive spaces for the study of religion.

Althusser and Theology

Religion, Politics and Philosophy

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Edited by Agon Hamza

Religion has always been an object of philosophical analysis, as well as a platform for political practice. One cannot imagine a form of philosophical thinking without its relation to a religion, whether it negates or affirms the latter. In different philosophical orientations, religion also serves as a condition for philosophy.

Althusser and Theology intends not so much to fill a gap in Althusser scholarship as to make an important contribution to the contemporary radical left movement. In this regard, Althusser and Theology is of significant importance in the current debates on the Left concerning its relation to theology. It will also contribute to the ongoing debate on Althusser, as well as opening up a new perspective on his philosophical project.

Contributors are: Roland Boer, Stanislas Breton, Isa Blumi, Geoff Pfeifer, Agon Hamza, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Knox Peden, Panagiotis Sotiris, Ted Stolze, Jana Tsoneva, and Gabriel Tupinambá.

Sharīʿa and the Islamic State in 19th-Century Sudan

The Mahdī’s Legal Methodology and Doctrine

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Aharon Layish

The Sudanese Mahdī headed a millenarian, revivalist, reformist movement in Islam, strongly inspired by Salafī and Ṣūfī ideas, in late 19th century in an attempt to restore the Caliphate of the Prophet and “Righteous Caliphs” in Medina. As the “Successor of the Prophet”, the Mahdī was conceived of as the political head of the Islamic state and its supreme religious authority. On the basis of his legal opinions, decisions, proclamations and “traditions” attributed to him, an attempt is made to reconstruct his legal methodology consisting of the Qurʾān, sunna, and inspiration ( ilhām) derived from the Prophet and God, its origins, and its impact on Islamic legal doctrine, and to assess his “legislation” as an instrument to promote his political, social and moralistic agenda.

Rousseau et la Bible

Pensée du religieux d'un Philosophe des Lumières

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Geneviève Di Rosa

Le rapport au texte biblique est de toute évidence une voie d’entrée privilégiée pour qui veut étudier les représentations du religieux au XVIIIe siècle. A un moment où une méfiance bien plus ancienne vis-à-vis de L’Ancien Testament s’étend pareillement au Nouveau perçu lui aussi comme fabrique et donc, pour une part au moins, comme imposture, le cas Rousseau montre exemplairement comment la Bible, pour être de moins en moins appréhendée comme une Vérité Révélée, reste toujours un intertexte littéraire de toute première grandeur et sans doute même plus influent que jamais. La présente étude interroge donc les diverses représentations de Jean-Jacques lecteur de la Bible, ses réécritures de narrations bibliques et le retour, tout au long de son oeuvre, de schèmes de pensée chrétiens et christiques.

The relation to the Biblical text is a privileged starting point for anyone interested in studying eighteenth-century religious representations. At a time when an old suspicion towards The Old Testament reverberates on The New Testament which is also perceived as man-made and thus partly as a sham, the example of Rousseau demonstrates how the Bible, although less and less considered as a Revealed Truth, remains a primary literary intertext, probably more influent than ever. The present study interrogates the different representations of Jean-Jacques as a reader of the Bible, his rewritings of Biblical narratives and the presence of Christian and Christ-like ways of thinking throughout his work.

Christian Arabic Versions of Daniel

A Comparative Study of Early MSS and Translation Techniques in MSS Sinai Ar. 1 and 2

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Miriam Lindgren Hjälm

In Christian Arabic Versions of Daniel, Miriam L. Hjälm provides an insight into the Arabic transmission of the biblical Book of Daniel. This book offers an inventory and a classification of extant manuscripts as well as a detailed account of the translation techniques employed in the early manuscripts. The use of the texts is discussed and the various versions are compared with liturgical Bible material.

Miriam L. Hjälm shows the importance of Arabic as a tool for understanding the development of the religious heritage of Christian communities under Muslim rule. Arabic became an indispensable part of the everyday life of many Near Eastern Christians and was increasingly used next to the established liturgical languages, which remained the standard measure of the biblical text.



Richard ‘Dutch’ Thomson, c. 1569-1613

The Life and Letters of a Renaissance Scholar

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Paul Botley

Richard ‘Dutch’ Thomson (d. 1613), best known today as a Bible translator and one of the earliest English Arminians, was admired in his own day for his learning. This book provides the first biography of Thomson. It maps his connections with his contemporaries, reconstructs his reading, and edits his surviving correspondence, some seventy-eight letters. Thomson moved among the greatest scholars of his day, and was good friends with Joseph Scaliger and Isaac Casaubon. He travelled in Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries, became a member of five universities, and worked with manuscripts in the libraries in England, Florence, Geneva, Heidelberg and Leiden. Modern scholarship, working within national boundaries, has tended to see only a part of the whole picture.