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Accumulated Meaning and Performative Historiography in the First Muslim Civil War
Author: Aaron M. Hagler
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.
Volume Editors: Lucien van Liere and Erik Meinema
How do objects become contested in settings characterized by (violent) conflict? Why are some things contested by religious actors? How do religious actors mobilize things in conflict situations and how are conflict and violence experienced by religious groups? This volume explores relations between materiality, religion, and violence by drawing upon two fields of scholarship that have rarely engaged with one another: research on religion and (violent) conflict and the material turn within religious studies. This way, this volume sets the stage for the development of new conceptual and methodological directions in the study of religion-related violent conflict that takes materiality seriously.
American Moravians and their Neighbors, 1772-1822, edited by Ulrike Wiethaus and Grant McAllister, offers an interdisciplinary examination of Moravian Americanization in the Early Republic. With an eye toward the communities that surrounded Moravian settlements in the Southeast, the contributors examine cultural, social, religious, and artistic practices of exchange and imposition framed by emergent political structures that encased social privilege and marginalization.
Through their multidisciplinary approach, the authors convincingly argue that Moravians encouraged assimilation, converged with core values and political forces of the Early Republic, but also contributed uniquely Moravian innovations. Residual, newly dominant, and increasingly subjugated discourses among Moravians, other European settlers, Indigenous nations and free and enslaved communities of color established the foundations of a new Moravian American identity.

Contributors include: Craig D. Atwood, David Bergstone, David Blum, Stewart Carter, Martha B. Hartley, Geoffrey R. Hughes, Winelle Kirton-Roberts, Grant P. McAllister, Thomas J. McCullough, Paul Peucker, Charles D. Rodenbough, John Ruddiman, Jon F. Sensbach, Larry E. Tise, Riddick Weber, and Ulrike Wiethaus.
Classical Perspectives on Ascent in the Journey to God
Volume Editors: Don W. Springer and Kevin M. Clarke
How does one grow holy in such times? This question drove the early Christian imagination no less than it does today. Patristic Spirituality: Classical Perspectives on Ascent to the Divine features numerous studies offering an “itinerary” for early Christian believers wishing to enter into the divine presence. Readers will discover an array of perennial early Christian wisdom into the practical challenges of ascent, “a work of God in Christ, transforming and incorporating us,” says Lewis Ayres. See how early Christians cultivated the life of grace with hospitality, silence, almsgiving, and other ascetic practices for human elevation into mystical union with God.

Contributors are: Benjamin D. Wayman, John S. Bergsma and Luke Iyengar, Hans Boersma, Stanley E. Porter, Gregory Vall Don W. Springer, Bogdan G. Bucur, Amy Brown Hughes, Sean Moberg, Stephen M. Hildebrand, Brian Matz, Anna Silvas, Ann Conway-Jones, Sandy L. Haney, Despina D. Prassas, Gerald Boersma, Brian E. Daley, Andrew Louth, Jonathan L. Zecher, Kevin M. Clarke, Lewis Ayres.
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.