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Often considered as the first phenomenon of mass media in history, the use of books and prints by Protestants has been widely studied and has generated a rich and plentiful bibliography. In contrast, the production and use of these supports by the partisans of the Counter-Reformation have not received the attention they deserve, especially in the context of the Low Countries.

The twelve contributors provide new perspectives on the efficacy of the handpress book industry to support the Catholic strategy of the Spanish Low Countries and underlines the mutually beneficial relationship between proponents of the Counter-Reformation and the typographic world. An important contribution to our understanding of the sociocultural and socioeconomic background of the Catholic Netherlands.
Accumulated Meaning and Performative Historiography in the First Muslim Civil War
Author:
In The Echoes of Fitna, Aaron M. Hagler engages in a close reading of the fitna narratives of three related texts: al-Ṭabarī’s Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, Ibn al-Athīr’s al-Kāmil fī al-taʾrīkh, and Ibn Kathīr’s Kitāb al-bidāya wa-l-nihāya. Because the latter two texts’ presentations of the fitna follow al-Ṭabarī’s so closely, moments of divergence in the texts are understood as clear markers of the later historians’ goals, perspectives, and literary-narrative strategies.

The analysis of these changes demonstrates that the desire to reframe the meaning of Karbalāʾ is central to Ibn al-Athīr’s and Ibn Kathīr’s narrative construction, and that—while they left al-Ṭabarī’s versions of key events intact—small, even minute changes to contextual expository moments fundamentally change their meaning.
This work, a partial history of Iranian laws between 1906 and 2020, demonstrates that the main obstacle to improving the legal status of non-Muslims in Muslim contexts is the fiqhī opinions, which are mistakenly regarded as an integral part of the Islamic faith. It aims to clarify why and how Islamic Shiite rulings about non-Muslims shifted to the Iranian laws and how it is possible to improve the legal status of the Iranian non-Muslims under the Islamic government.
A Memorial in the World offers a new appraisal of the reception and role of Constantine the Great and Ardashir I (the founder of the Sasanian Empire c.224-651), in their respective cultural spheres. Concentrating on marked parallels in the legendary material attached to both men it argues that the memories of both were reshaped by processes referencing the same deep literary heritage.

What is more, as “founders” of imperial systems that identified with a particular religious community, the literature that developed around these late antique figures applied these ancient tropes in a startlingly parallel direction. This parallel offers a new angle on the Kārnāmag tradition, an originally Middle Persian biographical tradition of Ardashir I.
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In many societies all over the world, an increasing polarization between contrasting groups can be observed. Polarization arises when a fear born of difference turns into ‘us-versus-them’ thinking and rules out any form of compromise. This volume addresses polarizations within societies as well as within churches, and asks the question: given these dynamics, what may be the calling of the church? The authors offer new approaches to polarizing debates on topics such as racism, social justice, sexuality and gender, euthanasia, and ecology and agriculture in various contexts. They engage in profound theological and ecclesiological reflection, in particular from the Reformed tradition.

Contributors to this volume are: Najib George Awad, Henk van den Belt, Nadine Bowers Du Toit, Jaeseung Cha, David Daniels, David Fergusson, Jan Jorrit Hasselaar, Jozef Hehanussa, Allan Janssen, Klaas-Willem de Jong, Viktória Kóczián, Philipp Pattberg, Louise Prideaux, Emanuel Gerrit Singgih, Peter-Ben Smit, Thandi Soko-de Jong, Wim van Vlastuin, Jan Dirk Wassenaar, Elizabeth Welch, Annemarieke van der Woude, and Heleen Zorgdrager.
This book solves the long-standing mystery of a Christian monastery near Samarkand, seen and described by two Arab travellers in the tenth century. Despite several attempts made since the 1890s, its precise location had never been established. The first part covers the quest, the find, and the archaeological excavations’ results. Then the author proceeds to search for a mediaeval Christian enclave near modern Tashkent, which appears to have been washed away by a river that changed its course over centuries.
Apart from the Christians, the book also touches upon the Manichaeans, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and other Sogdians, their languages, faiths, and material remnants.
Stories of Pentecostal conversion and church growth in Roma communities are prolific across Europe but how does conversion impact daily lives in the context of economic hardship and social marginalization? In fact, Roma Pentecostal life stories from Croatia and Serbia reveal both resilience and suffering, and consequently reveal the struggle of lived faith amidst formidable challenges. In what ways, then, has a new Pentecostal identity shifted relationships, thinking, and behaviour? This ethnography explores the ways in which these Roma Pentecostals incorporate their faith in their daily lives through analysing their life stories in conjunction with their socio-cultural contexts and Pentecostal theology.