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Neo-Orientalism, American Hegemony and Academia
Editor: Tugrul Keskin
Middle East Studies after September 11: Neo-Orientalism, American Hegemony and Academia will show the long-term implications of current approaches to Middle East scholarship on the internal transformation of Middle Eastern societies. It describes the complex relationship between American academia and state government: a relationship which has influenced and restructured the state, society and politics in the Middle East as well as in the United States. It engages the disciplines of Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, History and International Studies, while maintaining the epistemological, methodological, and ontological insights of a sociological approach to the Middle East.

Contributors are: Beyazit H. Akman, Mahmoud Arghavan, Dunya D. Cakir, Emanuela C. Del Re, Babak Elahi, Manuela E. B. Giolfo, Shah Mahmoud Hanifi, Merve Kavakci, Tugrul Keskin, Seyed Mohammd Marandi, Ameena Al-Rasheed Nayel, Staci Gem Scheiwiller, Francesco L. Sinatora, Zeinab Ghasemi Tari
In Formation of a Religious Landscape: Shi‘i Higher Learning in Safavid Iran, Maryam Moazzen offers the first systematic examination of Shi‘i educational institution and practices by exploring the ways in which religious knowledge was produced, authenticated, and transmitted in the second half of Safavid rule (1588-1722). By analyzing the deeds of endowment of the Madrasa-yi Sulṭānī and other mosque-madrasas built by the Safavid elite, this study sheds light on the organizing mechanisms and structures utilized by such educational foundations. Based on the large number of ijazās and other primary sources including waqfiyyas, biographical dictionaries and autobiographies, this study also reconstructs the Safavid madrasas’ curriculum and describes the pedagogical methods used to transmit religious knowledge as well as issues that faced Shi‘i higher learning in early modern times.
Religion, Revolution, and the Role of the Intellectual
In Ali Shariati and the Future of Social Theory: Religion, Revolution and the Role of the Intellectual, Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri bring together a collections of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of the Iranian sociologist and revolutionary, Ali Shariati. Thought to be the most important intellectual behind the Iranian Revolution of 1979, these essays engage in a future-oriented remembrance of Shariati’s life and praxis, with the practical attempt to clarify, expand, and apply his liberational Islamic thought to modern conditions. Making use of Shariati’s writings on Shi’a Islam and western philosophy, this text is especially important for those who want to understand the role that intellectuals, both religious and secular, can have in the liberation of mankind.

Contributors are: Mahdi Ahouie, Bader Mousa al-Saif, Sophia Rose Arjana, M. Kürad Atalar, Dustin J. Byrd, Eric Goodfield, Teo Lee Ken, Georg Leube, Seyed Javad Miri, Carimo Mohomed, Chandra Muzaffar, Khosrow Bagheri Noaparast, Fatemeh Shayan, and Esmaeil Zeiny.
In Ästhetik, Politik und schiitische Repräsentation im zeitgenössischen Iran zeigt Christian Funke die Verflechtungen von Politik, Protest und schiitischer Materialität in der Islamischen Republik auf. Das Buch legt anschaulich und vielschichtig dar, wie die Proteste von 2009 und die ›Grüne Bewegung‹ mit umfassenderen Diskursen über Demokratie, Identität, Geschichte und Gegenwart sowie Religion und Politik verknüpft waren.

Funkes Argument fußt auf Interviews und intensiver Feldforschung und umfasst ein breites Themenfeld von Farben über Banknoten bis hin zu städtischer Raumordnung. Funke bietet einen neuen Ansatz zur Theorie und Methodologie von Religionsästhetik und wirft ein neues Licht auf die › Grüne Bewegung‹ , indem er die islamischen Ressourcen freilegt, mittels derer sich ihr Protest artikulierte.

In Aesthetics, Politics, and Shiʿi Representation in Contemporary Iran Christian Funke explores the entangled relationship between politics, protest and Shiʿi materiality in the Islamic Republic. He shows how the post-election protests of 2009 and the ‘Green Movement’ were part of larger discourses on democracy, identity, the present and the past, and religion and politics.

Funke’s argument is based on extensive fieldwork and interviews. He covers a broad array of topics, ranging from the interpretation of colours to the use of banknotes to the emergence of an urban spatial order. Funke offers a novel approach to the methodology and theory of material religion and by revealing the Islamic undercurrents in the ‘Green Movement’, his book provides a new and more appropriate picture of protest and religion in Iran.


Mysore and Gujarat (17th to 19th C.)
India, Modernity and the Great Divergence is an original and pioneering book about India’s transition towards modernity and the rise of the West. The work examines global entanglements alongside the internal dynamics of 17th to 19th century Mysore and Gujarat in comparison to other regions of Afro-Eurasia. It is an interdisciplinary survey that enriches our historical understanding of South Asia, ranging across the fascinating and intertwined worlds of modernizing rulers, wealthy merchants, curious scholars, utopian poets, industrious peasants and skilled artisans. Bringing together socio-economic and political structures, warfare, techno-scientific innovations, knowledge production and transfer of ideas, this book forces us to rethink the reasons behind the emergence of the modern world.
Collected Essays
Sociology of Shiʿite Islam is a comprehensive study of the development of Shiʿism. Its bearers first emerged as a sectarian elite, then a hierocracy and finally a theocracy. Imamate, Occultation and the theodicy of martyrdom are identified as the main components of the Shiʻism as a world religion. In these collected essays Arjomand has persistenly developed a Weberian theoretical framework for the analysis of Shiʿism, from its sectarian formation in the eighth century through the establishment of the Safavid empire in the sixteenth century, to the Islamic revolution in Iran in the twentieth century. These studies highlight revolutionary impulses embedded in the belief in the advent of the hidden Imam, and the impact of Shiʻite political ethics on the authority structure of pre-modern Iran and the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Towards Explanations and Understandings
Conflict and Peace in Central Eurasia combines theory with in-depth description and systematic analyses of ethnoterritorial conflict and coexistence in Central Eurasia. Central Eurasia is at the heart of the Eurasian continent around the Caspian Sea. Much of this macro-region is made up of the post-Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus, but it also covers other areas, such as parts of Russia and Iran. Central Eurasia is subject to a number of ethnoterritorial conflicts. Yet at the same time, a large number of ethnic groups, speaking different languages and following different religions, coexist peacefully in this macro-region. Babak Rezvani explains ethno-territorial conflicts not only by focusing on these conflicts but also by comparing all cases of conflict and coexistence in (post-)Soviet Central Asia, the Caucasus and Fereydan, the so-called Iranian little Caucasus. Aiming at formulating new theories, this book makes use of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), as well as case studies and statistical analyses. It provides an innovative and interesting contribution to Eurasian Studies and Conflict Analysis, and at the same time demonstrates a detailed knowledge of the relevant literature. Based on thorough research, the study offers a deep and insightful history of the areas and conflicts concerned.
Globalization, Migration, and Colonial Domination
Why do empires build walls and fences? Are they for defensive purposes only, to keep the ‘barbarians’ at the gate; or do they also function as complex offensive military structures to subjugate and control the colonized? Are the colonized subjects also capable of erecting barriers to shield themselves from colonial onslaughts?

In Empires and Walls Mohammad A. Chaichian meticulously examines the rise and fall of the walls that are no longer around; as well as impending fate of ‘neo-liberal’ barriers that imperial and colonial powers have erected in the new Millennium. Based on four years of extensive historical and field-based research Chaichian provides compelling evidence that regardless of their rationale and functions, walls always signal the fading power of an empire.