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Sufism in Central Asia

New Perspectives on Sufi Traditions, 15th-21st Centuries

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Sufism in Central Asia: New Perspectives on Sufi Traditions, 15th-21st Centuries brings together ten original studies on historical aspects of Sufism in this region. A central question, of ongoing significance, underlies each contribution: what is the relationship between Sufism as it was manifested in this region prior to the Russian conquest and the Soviet era, on the one hand, and the features of Islamic religious life in the region during the Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet eras on the other? The authors address multiple aspects of Central Asian religious life rooted in Sufism, examining interpretative strategies, realignments in Sufi communities and sources from the Russian to the post-Soviet period, and social, political and economic perspectives on Sufi communities.
Contributors include: Shahzad Bashir, Devin DeWeese, Allen Frank, Jo-Ann Gross, Yayoi Kawahara, Robert McChesney, Ashirbek Muminov, Maria Subtelny, Eren Tasar, and Waleed Ziad.
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Barbara Flemming

In Essays on Turkish Literature and History Barbara Flemming makes available essays partly previously published in German. They offer insights gained through decades of scholarship. Although the Ottoman period is central, a wide range is covered, including an early Turkish principality, Mamluk and Ottoman Egypt, and contemporary southeastern Turkey. The essays look into historical and political factors involved in the preoccupation with the world’s ending, into Muslim-Christian dialogue, the sultan’s prayer before battle, and the bilingualism of poets. Of particular interest are the sections on female participation in mysticism, on an anti-Sufi movement in Cairo, on the Ottoman capital’s appeal to collectors and emigrants (Diez, Süssheim, Böhlau), and on the far-reaching effects of alphabet change.
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‘Alā’ al-Dawla al-Simnānī Between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate

With a Critical Edition of al-Wārid alšārid al-ṭārid šubhat al-mārid and its Persian version Zayn al-mu‘taqad li-zayn al-mu‘taqid

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Giovanni Maria Martini

In ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla al-Simnānī between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate, Giovanni Maria Martini investigates the personality of a major figure in the socio-political and cultural landscape of Mongol Iran. In pursuing this objective, the author follows parallel paths: Chapter 1 provides the most updated reconstruction of Simnānī’s (d. 736/1336) biography, which, thanks to its unique features, emerges as a cross-section of Iranian society and as a microhistory of the complex relationships between a Sufi master, Persian elites and Mongol rulers during the Ilkhanid period; Chapter 2 contains a study on the phenomenon of Arabic-Persian diglossia in Simnānī’s written work, arguing for its socio-religious function; in Chapters 3 to 6 the critical editions of two important, interrelated treatises by Simnānī are presented; finally, Chapter 7 offers the first full-length annotated translation of a long work by Simnānī ever to appear in a Western language.
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Islam and Gender in Colonial Northeast Africa

Sittī ‘Alawiyya, the Uncrowned Queen

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Silvia Bruzzi

In Islam and Gender in Colonial Northeast Africa, Silvia Bruzzi provides an account of Islamic movements and gender dynamics in the context of colonial rule in Northeast Africa. The thread that runs through the book is the life and times of Sittī ‘Alawiyya al-Mīrġanī (1892-1940), a representative of a well-established transnational Sufi order in the Red Sea region. Silvia Bruzzi gives us not only a social history of the colonial encounter in the Eritrean colony, but also a wider historical account of supra-regional dynamics across the Red Sea, the Ethiopian hinterland, and the Mediterranean region, using a wide range of fragmentary historical materials to make an important contribution towards filling the gap that currently exists in women's and gender history in Muslim societies.
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Les enfers indiens

Histoire multiple d’un lieu commun

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Marc Tiefenauer

In the present work, the first of its kind in the field of Indian philology, Marc Tiefenauer outlines the history of representations of hell in Indian religious traditions. His study is based on primary sources in Sanskrit, Pali, Ardhamagadhi, Chinese, Braj, Persian and Hindi, extending over three millennia. He identifies the main ideological contributions to Brahmanical representations of the afterlife, particularly those stemming from Buddhism, Jainism, devotional currents (Bhakti) and Islam. He shows the utility of eschatological research to hermeneutics, especially in view of improving the understanding of the literatures of ancient India.
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Silvia Bruzzi