In the process of the invasion wars of Shah Abbas the First (1571–1629), the history of the emergence of two Georgian language islands in Iran (Fereydany Georgian) and Azerbaijan (Ingilo Georgian) begins. The extension of control to the areas considered the cradle of Georgian Christianity, Tao, Klarjeti, Shavsheti, and partially Javakheti, can be interpreted as a reaction of the Ottoman Empire to the Caucasus policy of Shah Abbas. Due to linguistic isolation, the third Georgian language island (Our Georgian) is formed in Turkish territory. The first period of the formation of the socio-cultural landscape of the language islands can be characterized as a parallel process of simultaneous integration and isolation of the Christian minorities in the environment of the Islamic majority. The unconscious use of Christian practices preserved in the cultural memory appears as a component of this process. The distinctive feature of Georgian Crypto-Orthodoxy is the conscious as well as unconscious use or preservation of Christian cultural components. The focus is on preserving the identity of simultaneous transformation and accommodation in relation to the environment of the new Islamic majority.
This present study aims to challenge simplistic views of division and boundaries between Muslims and Christians. It delves into the cultural and artistic relationship between the Safavid ruling elite and the newly arrived Armenians in seventeenth-century Isfahan. The primary goal is to understand how the Armenian population merged with the predominantly Muslim community of Isfahan. An insightful perspective is gained by examining the Armenian architecture in Isfahan, where Armenians adapted and appropriated local architectural elements, creating a sense of belonging and shared identity. To gain a comprehensive understanding, the study delves into the wider cultural and political context of Isfahan during that time, drawing from a diverse array of European, Persian, and Armenian sources. By adopting this inclusive approach, the study explores the complex interplay of Christian and Muslim, as well as Safavid and Armenian elements within Isfahani society, thereby shedding light on the multifaceted identities at play.
Based on the primary sources, the article examined the position and status of the Christian population during the reign of Nadir Shah Afshar (1688–1747). Special attention is paid to the question of privileges and patronage of the Armenian community. it is argued that the supportive policy of Nadir Shah towards representatives of Christian churches and monasteries was expressed in numerous decrees and firmans of the Afshar ruler. Thanks to the patronage of Nadir Shah, the possessions of the diocese of Uch-Kilsa (Echmiadzin) were exempted from taxes; they were allowed not only to rebuild churches, but even to build new ones. Nadir Shah also patronized the resettlement of the Armenian population from the neighboring Ottoman Empire, etc. An analysis of the sources helps to examine religious freedom in the Afshar’s state, including its tax policy in relation to Christian churches and monasteries.
Though the self-presentation of the Holy Mountain as a bastion of Orthodoxy and implacable foe of church union is in some respects justified, popes and western rulers in fact played an important, and not always a hostile, role in the history of Mount Athos. Some of the founding figures of Athonite monasticism had Roman connections, and there were even periods in which the monasteries of Mount Athos sought the protection of popes and potentates from the West. While Athonite archives contain numerous charters stemming from Byzantine and other Orthodox rulers, and the monasteries’ vast Ottoman holdings have received increasing attention in recent years, charters issued by Latin Christian potentates and prelates have largely been overlooked. This contribution adds new information to previous studies of the relationship of Mount Athos with the Medieval West and applies the notion of interreligious founding to the Athonite context, attempting thereby to nuance the notion that Byzantine and Latin religious patronage operated in mutually exclusive spheres, even after the so-called “Great Schism” of 1054.
Islamic jurisprudence and scriptural tradition have numerous compulsory and voluntary obligations to provide a safety net for the less fortunate in their communities. One particularly important instrument for solidarity and social development is the establishment of waqf (charitable trust or pious endowed property). Among many charitable faith-based organizations and institutions, waqf is an important option available to devout Muslims concerned with care for the poor and the earth, closeness to and love of God, as well as love of kin and neighbour. In this paper, I first present the institution of waqf and how it functioned historically. Second, I point to the crucial role of women as founders and managers of waqf. Third, I examine waqf amidst the whirlwind of modernity and colonialism. In conclusion, I affirm the significance of waqf today for Muslim societies in difficult political and socio-economic situations.
Concerns for the vulnerable, the poor and marginalised, both human and non-human, are central to the Christian and Muslim religions. This special issue focuses on the one hand on Catholic social thought and practice with regard to care for the poor and care for the earth, and on the other hand on historical and contemporary Islamic social thought and practice. In this introduction, we set the context of the dialogue and of this special issue. At a general level, we emphasise the centrality of love of God and love of neighbour in both Christianity and Islam. We then focus on the Catholic and Sunni traditions. We discuss how each understands the relationship between love of God/love of neighbour and the different organisational structures and practices which express this love. We highlight some commonalities and differences between teachings, organisational structures and historical and social contexts. We conclude by outlining some areas of mutual learning with regard to the centrality of care for the poor and for the earth in both religions.
Religious traditions and institutions have historically played a significant role in shaping cultural scaffoldings and social practices. Can they also help re-shape the unsustainable world humans have made for themselves, which is now undermining not only the actual and prospective minimum standards of dignified life for the many, but also the basic fabric of Earth’s life support? From an approach critical of mainstream sustainability and looking to the example of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis’ vision of an “integral ecology”, this article argues that, in spite of being a latecomer to the global sustainability debate, the Church is structurally uniquely positioned to play the role of a global sustainability governance agent in the necessary transition to future-able way(s) of societal organization. It can, however, do so only if it proves capable of avoiding the risks of corporatist takeover, instrumentalisation for economic and political purposes, and assimilation of the integral ecology narrative used by the overall ineffective approaches of mainstream sustainable development.
In this paper I explore some of the roles that education can and needs to play in supporting “the great socio-ecological transition”, with particular emphasis on adult and vocational education and training. After briefly outlining some of the facets of the current pluricrisis, I examine a set of intersecting debates about transformation and transition(s) towards a more sustainable future, which is necessarily also more just. In this analysis, I build beyond the social science traditions usually evoked in these debates to draw on Catholic analyses of the nature of the problem. Catholic Social Teaching began with a concern about the effects of the transition to industrialisation, with Rerum Novarum (published by Pope Leo XIII in 1891), and increasingly has sought to address the need for the next transition beyond the Capitalocene, especially in Laudato Si’ (published by Pope Francis in 2015). It has always placed workers, work and learning at its core. Thus, there is much potentially to be gained from bringing together conventional educational research perspectives on education for sustainable development and education for human development with a Catholic Social Teaching lens in thinking about the possible roles for education in supporting just transitions.