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Is there a “return to the religious” in post-Communist Eastern Europe that differs from religious trends in the West and the Middle East? Looking beyond immediate events, this book situates public talk about religion and religious practice in the longue durée of the two entangled pasts —Byzantine and Ottoman—that implicitly underpin contemporary politics. Islam, Christianity, and Secularism situates Bulgaria in its wider region, indicating ongoing Middle Eastern, Russian, and other European influences shaping patterns of religious identity. The chapters point to overlapping and complementary views of ethno-religious belonging and communal practices among Orthodox Christians and Muslims throughout the region. Contributors are Dale F. Eickelman, Simeon Evstatiev, Kristen Ghodsee, Galina Evstatieva, Ilia Iliev, Daniela Kalkandjieva, Plamen Makariev, Momchil Metodiev, Daria Oreshina, Ivan Zabaev and Angeliki Ziaka.
Literature, Persuasion and Devotion in the Eighteenth Century
In Writing Tamil Catholicism: Literature, Persuasion and Devotion in the Eighteenth Century, Margherita Trento explores the process by which the Jesuit missionary Costanzo Giuseppe Beschi (1680-1747), in collaboration with a group of local lay elites identified by their profession as catechists, chose Tamil poetry as the social and political language of Catholicism in eighteenth-century South India.
Trento analyzes a corpus of Tamil grammars and poems, chiefly Beschi’s Tēmpāvaṇi, alongside archival documents to show how, by presenting themselves as poets and intellectuals, Catholic elites gained a persuasive voice as well as entrance into the learned society of the Tamil country and its networks of patronage.
Ethnohistoire d’une hétérotopie au Caire (979-2021)
Author: Gaétan du Roy
Les éboueurs du Caire (les Zabbalin) se sont installés sur les pentes du Muqattam en 1970. Très vite, ils ont attiré l’attention de nombreux acteurs actifs dans le développement ou la mission religieuse : des ingénieurs égyptiens, une sœur catholique Française, et le personnage central de cette histoire, le père Samʿān, qui se lança dans une mission auprès des Zabbalin en 1974. Ce prêcheur fonda plusieurs églises connues aujourd’hui sous le nom du monastère de Saint-Samʿan-le-Tanneur, un complexe de sept sanctuaires taillés dans les falaises du Muqattam. A travers son style charismatique et ses exorcismes publics mettant en scène une lutte symbolique entre Islam et Christianisme, Samʿān est devenu l’une des figures de proue de son Eglise.

The Cairene garbage collectors (the Zabbalin) settled on the Muqattam slopes in 1970. Soon they attracted the attention of different actors involved in development and religious mission: Egyptian engineers, a French Catholic Sister and the most central character of this story, Father Samʿān, who started a mission among the Zabbalin in 1974. This preacher founded several churches, today known as the Monastery of Saint Samʿān the Tanner, a complex of seven churches carved in the Muqattam walls. Through his charismatic style of preaching and his public exorcisms symbolically staging the struggle between Christianity and Islam, Samʿān has become a figurehead of his church.
In this volume, a microhistorical approach is employed to provide a transcription, translation, and case-study of the proceedings (written in Latin, Italian and Arabic) of the Roman Inquisition on Malta’s 1605 trial of the ‘Moorish’ slave Sellem Bin al-Sheikh Mansur, who was accused and found guilty of practising magic and teaching it to the local Christians. Through both a detailed commentary and individual case-studies, it assesses what these proceedings reflect about religion, society, and politics both on Malta and more widely across the Mediterranean in the early 17th century. In so doing, this inter- and multi-disciplinary project speaks to a wide range of subjects, including magic, Christian-Muslim relations, slavery, Maltese social history, Mediterranean history, and the Roman Inquisition. It will be of interest to both students and researchers who study any of these subjects, and will help demonstrate the richness and potential of the documents in the Maltese archives.
With contributions by: Joan Abela, Dionisius A. Agius, Paul Auchterlonie, Jonathan Barry, Charles Burnett, Frans Ciappara, Pierre Lory, Alex Malett, Ian Netton, Catherine R. Rider, Liana Saif
Author: Rana Abu-Mounes
On 9 July 1860 CE, an outbreak of violence in the inner-city Christian quarter of Damascus created shock waves locally and internationally. This book provides a step-by-step presentation and reproduction of the facts to assess the true role of all the players and shapers of events. It critically examines the internal and external politico-socio-economic factors involved and argues that economic interests rather than religious fanaticism were the main causes for the riot of 1860. Furthermore, it argues that the riot was not a sudden eruption but rather a planned and organised affair.
Late Antique Responses to the Arab Conquests is a showcase of new discoveries in an exciting and rapidly developing field: the study of the transition from Late Antiquity to Early Islam. The contributors to this volume engage with previously neglected sources, such as Arabic rock inscriptions, papyri and Byzantine archaeological remains. They also apply new interpretative methods to the literary tradition, reading the Qur’an as a late antique text, using Arabic poetry as a source to study the gestation of an Arab identity, and extracting settlement patterns of the Arabian colonizers in order to explain regional processes of Arabicization and Islamization. This volume shows how the Arab conquests changed both the Arabian conquerors and the conquered.
Collected Studies on Byzantine-Muslim Encounters
Author: Daniel J. Sahas
Arabs and the Middle East were among the first to embrace Christianity, leaving their print on its culture. Thus Byzantium, by geography and culture, encountered Islam at its birth. No wonder that many saw and treated Islam as a contemporary Christian “heresy” – whatever the word may connote. Radical events fill the history of Byzantium (330-1453) encountering the world of Islam: conquests, wars, cultural and diplomatic relations, manifestations of mutual admiration – and exclusion! Their story makes for a fascinating branch of either Byzantine or Islamic studies; the literature about each other forming a distinguished section in either field.
This collection of studies is a sample of Byzantine perspectives of Islam offering, hopefully, expressions and solutions rather than creating impressions or illusions.
Arabs and Arabists contains nineteen selected articles by Alastair Hamilton on the Western acquisition of knowledge of the Arab and Ottoman world in the early modern period. The first essays are on Arabs who visited Europe and gave instruction to Western Arabists, and on Europeans who either visited the Arab (or the Ottoman) world in search of manuscripts and information or who, like Franciscus Raphelengius, Isaac Casaubon and Adriaen Reland, studied it at a distance and remained in the West. These are followed by a section on the actual study of the Arabic language in Europe, and above all the creation of the first Arabic-Latin dictionaries, and another on the European study of Islam and Western translations of the Qur’an.
In: Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History Volume 18. The Ottoman Empire (1800-1914)