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Irish Quaker biographers have focused on ministers, the influential and wealthy; many biographies are also unstructured and selective, leaving gaps in the narrative. The current work uses the life and family of John Boles (1661-1731), a Quaker stalwart for 50 years, as a case study for the biographer, introducing the major sources and showing how they can be deployed to 'resurrect' the contributions of the anonymous Quaker majority. As the biography is developed, information is explored and analyzed to construct reliable genealogical charts; information is culled from Friends' records to document the contributions and failures of family members in the context of their Quaker meetings; land records are consulted to measure and assess their gradual accumulation of wealth and the historical context is discussed as a backdrop to their evolving socio-economic status - all topics essential for comprehensive Quaker biographies and family histories.
V. F. Minorsky and C. J. Edmonds Correspondence (1928-1965)
This volume is an annotated correspondence, of nearly forty years, between two prominent Orientalists. The letters cover a range of topics related to the Zagros Mountains, its peoples, their history, culture, and languages. They also offer a glimpse into the personal lives and careers of the two scholars, give valuable insights on the development of the field of Kurdish Studies, and to an extent outline the contours of what the two referred to as Zagrology.
The three-volume series titled The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam, is the first attempt to explore the dynamics of the representation of the Prophet Muhammad in the course of Muslim history until the present.
The first volume outlines his figure in the early Islamic tradition, and its later transformations until recent times that were shaped by Prophet-centered piety and politics. A variety of case studies offers a unique overview of the interplay of Sunnī amd Shīʿī doctrines with literature and arts in the formation of his image. They trace the integrative and conflictual qualities of a “Prophetic culture”, in which the Prophet of Islam continues his presence among the Muslim believers.
The second volume explores the growing importance of the figure of the Prophet Muhammad for questions of authority and power in early modern and modern times. The authors present a rich collection of case studies on how Muhammad’s material, spiritual, and genealogical heritage has been claimed for the foundation of Muslim empires, revolutionary movements, the formation of modern nation states and ideologies, as well as for communal mobilization and social reform. The novel comparative, and diachronic study, which is unique for its wide coverage of regional cases and perspectives, reveals diverse political representations of the Prophet in an increasingly globalised struggle over the control of his image between secularization and sacralization.
The third volume explores the expressions of piety and devotion to the person of the Prophet and their individual and collective significance in early modern and modern times. The authors provide a rich collection of regional case studies on how the Prophet’s presence and aura are individually and collectively evoked in dreams, visions, and prayers, in the performance of poetry in his praise, in the devotion to relics related to him, and in the celebration of his birthday. They also highlight the role of the Prophetic figure in the identity formation of young Muslims and cover the controversies and compromises which nowadays shape the devotional practices centered on the Prophet.
In: Sociology of Islam

Abstract

The beginning of the twentieth century was marked by colossal changes in various spheres of life, including art, where appeared numerous choreographies produced by both professional dancers and esoteric teachers. This article analyzes the choreography of George Gurdjieff, a dance practice simply called “Movements.” This practice was often considered as closely related to and being a product of the artistic environment of the time. The article argues that even though being the product of the time, Gurdjieff’s dance requires a close attention. It will show that his approach to dance downplays aesthetic and emotional aspects. Applying the hybrid methodology, this article will first identify the place of the Movements in Gurdjieff’s teaching. It will then illustrate how the Movements differ from modern German dance. Finally, it will analyze and describe the author’s ethnographic experiences in the study and practice of the Movements.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
In: Sociology of Islam
In: Religion and Gender
Author:

Abstract

This contribution sets the Christian widows in Rome in the late fourth century CE and their agency within their social milieu: the Roman elite. In doing so, it argues (a) that the agency of these widows built on class-specific dispositions rather than genuinely ‘female’ or religious dispositions, and (b) that such agency allowed these women to establish a network of influence and power that even threatened the episcopal power.

In: Religion and Gender

Abstract

The gendered lines between direct and indirect agency blur in the book of Esther, in line with its ‘topsy-turvy’ carnivalesque attitude. Queen Esther acts with direct agency (the power to command her fellow Jews, then accusing Haman of treachery), while her cousin Mordecai gains power indirectly (through his relationship with Esther and through the knowledge he gains from listening to eunuchs) and is threatened with death when he attempts to exercise more direct agency. These reversals of expectations can be connected with the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI), an influential twentieth century set of descriptors that link certain psychological traits to masculinity or femininity—with most of the words associated with direct agency in the ‘masculine’ category. One could simply conclude that the Book of Esther is blurring gender lines, but an intersectional perspective reveals more at stake: the Book of Esther demonstrates that the power dynamics that dictate who can have direct agency do not always align with gender. This forces us to re-examine metrics like the BSRI for how they reflect existing power roles rather than inherent tendencies. Is direct agency inherently masculine, or just something that men have had more capacity to exercise? The complicated dynamics of the Book of Esther bring this question into focus, without offering a clear-cut answer.

In: Religion and Gender