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Editor: Alexandre Papas
This volume describes the social and practical aspects of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) across centuries and geographical regions. Its authors seek to transcend ethereal, essentialist and “spiritualizing” approaches to Sufism, on the one hand, and purely pragmatic and materialistic explanations of its origins and history, on the other. Covering five topics (Sufism’s economy, social role of Sufis, Sufi spaces, politics, and organization), the volume shows that mystics have been active socio-religious agents who could skillfully adjust to the conditions of their time and place, while also managing to forge an alternative way of living, worshiping and thinking.

Basing themselves on the most recent research on Sufi institutions, the contributors to this volume substantially expand our understanding of the vicissitudes of Sufism by paying special attention to its organizational and economic dimensions, as well as complex and often ambivalent relations between Sufis and the societies in which they played a wide variety of important and sometimes critical roles.

Contributors are Mehran Afshari, Ismail Fajrie Alatas, Semih Ceyhan, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, David Cook, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Daphna Ephrat, Peyvand Firouzeh, Nathan Hofer, Hussain Ahmad Khan, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Richard McGregor, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alexandre Papas, Luca Patrizi, Paulo G. Pinto, Adam Sabra, Mark Sedgwick, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Knut S. Vikør and Neguin Yavari
The Dutch Republic was the most religiously diverse land in early modern Europe, gaining an international reputation for toleration. In Reformation and the Practice of Toleration, Benjamin Kaplan explains why the Protestant Reformation had this outcome in the Netherlands and how people of different faiths managed subsequently to live together peacefully. Bringing together fourteen essays by the author, the book examines the opposition of so-called Libertines to the aspirations of Calvinist reformers for uniformity and discipline. It analyzes the practical arrangements by which multiple religious groups were accommodated. It traces the dynamics of religious life in Utrecht and other mixed communities. And it explores the relationships that developed between people of different faiths, especially in ‘mixed’ marriages.
Cultures of Political Freedom in the German Lands c. 1300-1800
Author: Beat Kümin
Hundreds of rural communities tasted political freedom in the Holy Roman Empire. For shorter or longer periods, villagers managed local affairs without subjection to territorial overlords. In this first book-length study, Beat Kümin focuses on the five case studies of Gochsheim and Sennfeld (in present-day Bavaria), Sulzbach and Soden (Hesse) and Gersau (Switzerland). Adopting a comparative perspective across the late medieval and early modern periods, the analysis of multiple sources reveals distinct extents of rural self-government, the forging of communalized confessions and an enduring attachment to the empire. Negotiating inner tensions as well as mounting centralization pressures, Reichsdörfer provide privileged insights into rural micro-political cultures while their stories resonate with resurgent desires for greater local autonomy in Europe today.
Author: Anne Thompson
In Parish Clergy Wives in Elizabethan England, Anne Thompson shifts the emphasis from the institution of clerical marriage to the people and personalities involved. Women who have hitherto been defined by their supposed obscurity and unsuitability are shown to have anticipated and exhibited the character, virtues, and duties associated with the archetypal clergy wife of later centuries.
Through adept use of an extensive and eclectic range of archival material, this book offers insights into the perception and lived experience of ministers’ wives. In challenging accepted views on the social status of clergy wives and their role and reception within the community, new light is thrown on a neglected but crucial aspect of religious, social, and women’s history.
After the State and the Church, the most well organized membership system of medieval and early modern Europe was the confraternity. In cities, towns, and villages it would have been difficult for someone not to be a member of a confraternity, the recipient of its charity, or aware of its presence in the community. In A Companion to Medieval and Early Modern Confraternities, Konrad Eisenbichler brings together an international group of scholars to examine confraternities from various perspectives: their origins and development, their devotional practices, their charitable activities, and their contributions to literature, music, and art. The result is a picture of confraternities as important venues for the acquisition of spiritual riches, material wealth, and social capital.

Contributors to this volume: Alyssa Abraham, Davide Adamoli, Christopher F. Black, Dominika Burdzy, David D’Andrea, Konrad Eisenbichler, Anna Esposito, Federica Francesconi, Marina Gazzini, Jonathan Glixon, Colm Lennon, William R. Levin, Murdo J. MacLeod, Nerida Newbigin, Dylan Reid, Gervase Rosser, Nicholas Terpstra, Paul Trio, Anne-Laure Van Bruaene, Beata Wojciechowska, and Danilo Zardin.
Responses to Religious Pluralism in Reformation Europe
Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance challenges the narrative of a simple progression of tolerance and the establishment of confessional identity during the early modern period. These essays explore the lived experiences of religious plurality, providing insights into the developments and drawbacks of religious coexistence in this turbulent period. The essays examine three main groups of actors—the laity, parish clergy, and unacknowledged religious minorities—in pre- and post-Westphalian Europe. Throughout this period, the laity navigated their own often-fluid religious beliefs, the expectations of conformity held by their religious and political leaders, and the complex realities of life that involved interactions with co-religious and non-co-religious family, neighbors, and business associates on a daily basis.

Contributors are: James Blakeley, Amy Nelson Burnett, Victoria Christman, Geoffrey Dipple, Timothy G. Fehler, Emily Fisher Gray, Benjamin J. Kaplan, David M. Luebke, David Mayes, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, William Bradford Smith, and Shira Weidenbaum.
Irish, Scots and English College Networks in Europe, 1568–1918
Forming Catholic Communities assesses the histories of Irish, English and Scots colleges established abroad in the early-modern period for Catholic students. The contributions provide a co-ordinated series of case studies which reflect the most up-to-date research on the colleges. The essays address interactions with European states, international networking, educational frameworks, financial challenges, print culture and institutional survival into the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. From these essays, the colleges emerge as unexpectedly complex institutions. With their financial, pastoral, and intellectual networks, they provided an educational infrastructure that, whatever its short-comings, remained crucial to the domestic and international communities they served during more than two centuries.
Development as a Battlefield is an innovative exploration of the multidimensional meanings of – and interactions between – conflict and development. The two phenomena are all too often regarded as ostensibly antagonistic. This was exemplified again in the context of the Arab Spring that erupted in December 2010 and was eventually short-lived in several countries of the Middle-East and North-Africa (MENA) region. This volume – the 8th thematic issue of International Development Policy – is an invitation to reconsider and renew the way social scientists usually seek to make sense of socio-political and economic developments in the MENA region and beyond.

Contributors include: Fariba Adelkhah, Yasmine Berriane, Irene Bono, Ayşe Buğra, Raphaëlle Chevrillon-Guibert, Anouck Gabriela Côrte réal-Pinto, Nadia Hachimi Alaoui, Béatrice Hibou, Adriana Kemp, Nora Lafi. Talia Margalit, Marie Vannetzel, Elena Vezzadini, and Merieme Yafout.
Author: Christian Funke
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.


Abstract

Due to labour shortages in key areas, early-modern Spain frequently employed foreigners to provide missionary and military manpower, administrative personnel, and technical expertise. Like their Flemish, English, and French contemporaries, Irish Catholics served Spain as priests, soldiers, bureaucrats, and operatives. The Irish colleges functioned as elements of these service networks, although this aspect of their activity remains relatively obscure. In part, this is because the colleges and their students are usually viewed in the context either of Spain’s international Catholic commitments and its geopolitical strategy or from the vantage of the Irish mission. Yet service to Spain and to the Spanish monarchy was also an important function of the collegial network and one that was not at odds with but rather complementary to its better known mission to the Irish church. Spanish support of the colleges, in fact, appears to have been at least tacitly predicated on Irish readiness to serve in the diverse religious missions of the Habsburg and Bourbon monarchies. Over time, this arrangement adapted to Spain’s changing needs and to the exigencies of the Irish mission. By the end of the eighteenth century, however, this largely complementary arrangement began to come under strain as Irish bishops sought more control over the formation and placement of clerical students trained overseas.


In: Forming Catholic Communities