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A Study of Manuscripts, Texts, and Contexts in Memory of John R. McRae
Chán Buddhism in Dūnhuáng and Beyond: A Study of Manuscripts, Texts, and Contexts in Memory of John R. McRae is dedicated to the memory of the eminent Chán scholar John McRae and investigates the spread of early Chán in a historical, multi-lingual, and interreligious context. Combining the expertise of scholars of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and Tangut Buddhism, the edited volume is based on a thorough study of manuscripts from Dūnhuáng, Turfan, and Karakhoto, tracing the particular features of Chán in the Northwestern and Northern regions of late medieval China.
Author: Etan Kohlberg
Editor: Amin Ehteshami
In Praise of the Few: Studies in Shiʿi Thought and History is a selection of Etan Kohlberg’s research on Shiʿi Islam over a period of fifty years. It includes previously published articles, revised dissertation chapters, and a full bibliography of the author’s work. Divided into two parts, the collection begins with chapters from Kohlberg’s Oxford doctoral dissertation (1971) and related articles that investigate Sunni and Shiʿi views on the Prophet’s Companions and debates concerning the extent of their authority as sources of religious knowledge. Part Two traces the doctrinal and historical developments pertaining to various dimensions of Imāmī Shiʿi intellectual tradition such as theology, hadith, law, jurisprudence, and exegesis.
Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage
Volume Editors: 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.”
Author: Nira Stone
Volume Editors: Michael E. Stone and Asya Bereznyak
Nira Stone (1938-2013) was a scholar of Armenian and Byzantine Art. Her broad and close acquaintance with the field of Armenian art history covered many fields of Armenian artistic creativity. Nira Stone made notable contributions to the study of Armenian manuscript painting, mosaics, and other forms of artistic expression. Of particular interests are her researches on this art in its historical and religious contexts, such as the study of apocryphal elements in Armenian Gospel iconography, the place of the mosaics of Jerusalem in the context of mosaics in Byzantine Palestine, and of the interplay between religious movements, such as hesychasm, and Armenian manuscript painting.
A Festschrift in Honor of Zhang Guangda on his Eighty-fifth Birthday
Volume Editors: Huaiyu Chen and Xinjiang Rong
Drawing upon numerous manuscripts from China and Central Asia, the articles presented in this volume by leading scholars in the field examine a broad range of topics on the multi-lingual, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic communities along the Silk Road in the medieval period, and cover such topics as the social history of Kucha, book history in Dunhuang, the spread of Manichaeism, the political history of Turkic and Khotanese Kingdoms, and the travelogue of the Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang. They demonstrate that Han Chinese, Khotanese, Sogdians, Tocharians, Tibetans, and Uyghurs have all contributed to constructing a sophisticated international network across Asia.
Contributors are: Bi Bo, Chao-jung Ching, Jean Pierre Drège, Ogihara Hirotoshi, Xiaohe Ma, Nicholas Sims-Williams, Xinjiang Rong, Tokio Takata, Xiaofu Wang, Wenkan Xu, Yutaka Yoshida, Lishuang Zhu, Peter Zieme.
Practices, Politics, and Identities
Volume Editor: Marlène Laruelle
This volume explores the changing place of Islam in contemporary Central Asia, understanding religion as a “societal shaper” – a roadmap for navigating quickly evolving social and cultural values. Islam can take on multiple colors and identities, from a purely transcendental faith in God to a cauldron of ideological ferment for political ideology, via diverse culture-, community-, and history-based phenomena. The volumes discusses what it means to be a Muslim in today’s Central Asia by looking at both historical and sociological features, investigates the relationship between Islam, politics and the state, the changing role of Islam in terms of societal values, and the issue of female attire as a public debate. Contributors include: Aurélie Biard, Tim Epkenhans, Nurgul Esenamanova, Azamat Junisbai, Barbara Junisbai, Marlene Laruelle, Marintha Miles, Emil Nasritdinov, Shahnoza Nozimova, Yaacov Ro'i, Wendell Schwab, Manja Stephan-Emmrich, Rano Turaeva, Alon Wainer, Alexander Wolters, Galina M. Yemelianova, Baurzhan Zhussupov
The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang
The first scholarly monograph on Buddhist maṇḍalas in China, this book examines the Maṇḍala of Eight Great Bodhisattvas. This iconographic template, in which a central Buddha is flanked by eight attendants, flourished during the Tibetan (786–848) and post-Tibetan Guiyijun (848–1036) periods at Dunhuang. A rare motif that appears in only four cave shrines at the Mogao and Yulin sites, the maṇḍala bore associations with political authority and received patronage from local rulers. Attending to the historical and cultural contexts surrounding this iconography, this book demonstrates that transcultural communication over the Silk Routes during this period, and the religious dialogue between the Chinese and Tibetan communities, were defining characteristics of the visual language of Buddhist maṇḍalas at Dunhuang.
Volume Editors: Michael Kemper and Ralf Elger
The Piety of Learning testifies to the strong links between religious and secular scholarship in Islam, and reaffirms the role of philology for understanding Muslim societies both past and present. Senior scholars discuss Islamic teaching philosophies since the 18th century in Nigeria, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, Russia, and Germany. Particular attention is paid to the power of Islamic poetry and to networks and practices of the Tijāniyya, Rifā‘iyya, Khalwatiyya, Naqshbandiyya, and Shādhiliyya Sufi brotherhoods. The final section highlights some unusual European encounters with Islam, and features a German Pietist who traveled through the Ottoman Empire, a Habsburg officer who converted to Islam in Bosnia, a Dutch colonial Islamologist who befriended a Salafi from Jeddah, and a Soviet historian who preserved Islamic manuscripts.

Contributors are: Razaq ‘Deremi Abubakre; Bekim Agai; Rainer Brunner; Alfrid K. Bustanov; Thomas Eich; Ralf Elger; Ulrike Freitag; Michael Kemper; Markus Koller; Anke von Kügelgen; Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen; Armina Omerika; Amidu Olalekan Sanni; Yaşar Sarikaya; Rüdiger Seesemann; Shamil Sh. Shikhaliev; Diliara M. Usmanova.
Renunciate Traditions and the Construction of Himalayan Sacred Geography
Author: Alex McKay
Tibet’s Mount Kailas is one of the world’s great pilgrimage centres, renowned as an ancient sacred site that embodies a universal sacrality. But Kailas Histories: Renunciate Traditions and the Construction of Himalayan Sacred Geography demonstrates that this understanding is a recent construction by British colonial, Hindu modernist, and New Age interests. Using multiple sources, including fieldwork, Alex McKay describes how the early Indic vision of a heavenly mountain named Kailas became identified with actual mountains. He emphasises renunciate agency in demonstrating how local beliefs were subsumed as Kailas developed within Hindu, Buddhist, and Bön traditions, how five mountains in the Indian Himalayan are also named Kailas, and how Kailas sacred geography constructions and a sacred Ganges source region were related.
Mongols on Wutaishan (China), 1800-1940
Nomads on Pilgrimage: Mongols on Wutaishan (China), 1800-1940 is a social history of the Mongols’ pilgrimages to Wutaishan in late imperial and Republican times. In this period of economic crisis and rise of nationalism and anticlericalism in Mongolia and China, this great Buddhist mountain of China became a unique place of intercultural exchanges, mutual borrowings, and competition between different ethnic groups. Based on a variety of written and visual sources, including a rich corpus of more than 340 Mongolian stone inscriptions, it documents why and how Wutaishan became one of the holiest sites for Mongols, who eventually reshaped its physical and spiritual landscape by their rites and strategies of appropriation.