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Today, the majority of the world's Christian population lives in the Global South. Knowledge of their history is therefore indispensable. This textbook offers a compact and vivid overview of the history of Christianity in Asia, Africa and Latin America since 1450, focussing on diversity and interdependence, local actors and global effects. Maps, illustrations and numerous photos as well as continuous references to easily accessible source texts support the reader's own reading and its use in various forms of academic teaching.
Culture, Diplomacy and Interactions
Series Editor:
The era of globalization has witnessed both increased activities across borders and interactions between nations, especially between the East and the West. East and West: Culture, Diplomacy and Interactions aims to trace and investigate multiple-dimensional interactions between the East and the West from the Age of Sail to the Modern Era, culturally, socially, economically and diplomatically, with a focus on maritime history via and centered on port cities such as Macao, Goa, Melaka, Nagasaki in the East and their counterparts such as Lisbon, Seville, Amsterdam, London in the West. The series examines matters about empires, oceans, and human connections through changes in material lives and cultural politics, and analyzes the impact of the flow of cultural materials across oceans, such as artifacts, arts, goods, foods, books, knowledge, beliefs, etc., on port cities and urbanization. Particularly, it will provide readers with a new maritime vision of the East and Southeast Asian history of connections at the eastern end of the Maritime Silk Road, including the ports of East Indian Ocean and South China Sea: places from Nagasaki to Xiamen/Macao, from Singapore to Shanghai, from Hong Kong to Melbourne, etc. In doing so, it will unfold the process of formation and transformation of networks and fluxing space, generated or altered by trade, migrations, diplomacies, regional conglomerations, etc., illustrate the glocolization of religions, examine the relationship of culture/tradition and diplomatic strategy, and demonstrate the causes to miscommunication, misunderstanding, conflicts and confrontations between nations as well as appropriate reading, understanding and interpreting of each other.

East and West will include studies in such disciplines and area studies as maritime history, missionary history, intellectual history, international relations, arts, architecture, music, religious studies, and cultural studies. This series will feature monographs and edited volumes as well as translated works. It will be of interest to academics as well as general readers, including historians, artists, architects, diplomats, politicians, journalists, travelers, religious groups, businessmen, lawyers, among other groups.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL, Stephanie Carta and Masja Horn.

Please see our Guidelines for a Book Proposal. All submissions are subject to a double-anonymous peer review process prior to publication.
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In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
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Abstract

Looking back at the articles collected in this issue, I want to propose that Asia is a privileged space for Islamic studies for addressing three questions in particular that are relevant for the wider discipline and demand a radical rethinking of familiar understandings of Islam as it has come to be represented in contemporary scholarship. First, the highly heterogeneous landscapes of Islamic Asia invite us to consider the significance of cultural, linguistic, and religious complexity in Islam more broadly. Second, while exhibiting the fundamental changes that Asian Muslims have navigated against the background of the increasing reach of colonialism and globalization, the preceding articles simultaneously resist easy dichotomizations between tradition and modernity. And third, a focus on Islam in Asia allows us to reassess established paradigms of transmission with its various infrastructures, as well as understandings of centers and peripheries undergirding such processes of transmission.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
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Abstract

This article examines the intersections of gender, consumption, and Muslim cosmopolitanism in the emerging bridal fashions of the Hui Muslims in Xi’an, China. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Xi’an during 2015 and 2016, I analyze the visual and textual discourses surrounding urban Hui Muslims’ pursuit of a globalized Muslim lifestyle, with a particular emphasis on fashion and representations of women. I explore how the image of the modern Muslim is produced and constructed in Hui-owned bridal salons, which offer bridal makeovers and stage wedding portraiture. By focusing on the perspectives of entrepreneurs within the bridal fashion and portraiture industry, I examine the production of ideal bridal aesthetics and a cosmopolitan female piety that are intertwined with universal Muslim values. This affinity for the universal fosters a sense of superiority among the Hui in their predominantly Han context. Engaging with scholarship on Muslim fashion and vernacular cosmopolitanisms, I argue that the Hui’s adoption of cosmopolitan Muslim-ness embodies both globally circulated lifestyles and local interpretations of modesty and piety. This study of Hui Muslim fashion choices showcases a locally embedded transnational Muslim modernity and underscores the diverse ways in which individuals position themselves within their imagined Muslim ummah.

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
Free access
In: International Journal of Islam in Asia

Abstract

This special issue explores historical and contemporary Asian Islamic traditions to offer an intentional grounding of Islamic studies in and as Asian Studies. Utilizing data from South, Southeast, and East Asian materials, the articles examine Islamic languages and literatures, socio-political institutions, legal practices, miracle workers and pilgrimage networks, and contemporary popular cultures. We build upon scholarship that represents global Islam as a civilizational process, a discursive tradition, a hermeneutic engagement, or as a cosmopolis. In drawing on Asian practices we reassess key categories, conclusions, and questions in the study of Islam such as the nature of Muslim centers and peripheries, the role of ambiguity in religious expression, the importance of the visual arts to identity formation, the gendered dimensions of legal authority and practice, the role of languages other than Arabic in constructing the Muslim community, and how modern Muslim welfare organizations and women’s pious fashion serve the aspirational goals of individuals and communities. Rectifying the legacies of colonialism and Orientalism in the marginalization of Asia in the study of Islam, we argue Islamic studies has much to learn from Asian perspectives and that Asia is an exceptional place from which the field can conceptualize Islamic traditions in broader terms.

Free access
In: International Journal of Islam in Asia

Abstract

Recent scholarship in Islamic studies has proposed ambiguity, especially in the form of literary metaphor and paradox, as integral to pre-modern Islam. However, literary ambiguity has also afforded an interpretive lens for articulations of modern Muslim identity. This article analyzes how two metaphors for the self – the nightingale and the falcon – function in Persian and Urdu ghazals of Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938), for whom the resources of pre-modern Sufi poetry, especially ambiguity and paradox, become a method of meaning-making for the modern era. Iqbal’s use of these metaphors presents a nuanced view of the tensions between the inheritances of tradition and the demands of modernity for South Asian Muslims in the colonial era, and allows us to attend to the intersections of religion, literature, and politics in modern Islamic thought from the point of view of languages, genres, and geographies that remain marginal to the field of Islamic Studies.

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
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Abstract

Despite demographic realities, Muslim Southeast Asia remains one of the most marginalized regions in Islamic studies and in popular culture. This article grapples with one of the thorniest of allegations against the Islam of the “peripheries,” that the prevalence of saints and miracle workers, known as keramat in Southeast Asia, is nominally Islamic or syncretic and, thus, it is evidence of regional communities being “less-than-pure” Islamic. In doing so, this article analyzes the texts and traditions of keramat, focusing on Southeast Asian Islamic literature produced in Malay and Tamil from the late nineteenth century to the present. What emerges from a study of these texts, as well as of ongoing Islamic religious practices in the region, is a self-perception of Southeast Asian islands and cities as centers of Islam shaped by the network and circulation of keramat and ʿulamāʾ that operated as nodes of a multi-centered Islam. Arguing against attempts to flatten and essentialize Islam, Southeast Asian Islamic literature associated keramat with Muḥammad, highlighting how regional Islam and its rituals, liturgies, and ṭarīqa were directly passed down by the Prophet. Keramat texts emphasize that Southeast Asia’s saints and ʿulamāʾ were heirs of Muḥammad and enforcers of Muḥammad’s norms through bloodlines and other forms of intimacy. These texts, moreover, propose that some of the keramat buried in the region were the most consummate of Sufis, the Quṭb, or eschatological restorers, or Mahdi, and surpassed prophets in their miraculous powers. Overall, this is a story of miraculous narratives, devotional cultures, social memories, and sacral centers of the Islamic world that are often pushed to the peripheries of Islamic studies but refuse to be marginalized and forgotten.

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
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Abstract

The Moors’ Islamic Cultural Home (MICH) was incorporated in the State Council in 1944. This paper will look at the establishment of the MICH as indicating the emergence of a particular post-World War II aspirational Muslim middle-class sensibility in Sri Lanka. It will argue that this sensibility emerged at the intersection of two sets of anxieties – Muslims as a minority in a soon to be majoritarian state, and the Muslim elite as insufficiently educated and forward looking in comparison with other elites in the country. In the period when the MICH was established, Ceylonese Muslims distanced themselves from Indian Muslims living in Sri Lanka but presented a connection with a Muslim past through invoking the Moors of Spain. Through the MICH the Muslim elite presented themselves as learned, modern, and as leading poorer Muslims out of destitution toward a modern middle-class way of life.

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia