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Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia

The Challenge of Climate Change

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Edited by Carmen Meinert

Since in the current global environmental and climate crisis East Asia will play a major role in negotiating solutions, it is vital to understand East Asian cultural variations in approaching and solving environmental challenges in the past, present, and future. The interdisciplinary volume Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia. The Challenge of Climate Change, edited by Carmen Meinert, explores how cultural patterns and ideas have shaped a specific understanding of nature, how local and regional cultures develop(ed) coping strategies to adapt to environmental and climatic changes in the past and in the present and how various institutions and representatives might introduce their ideas and agendas in future environmental and climate policies on national levels and in international negotiating systems.

Beyond Caste

Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present

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Sumit Guha

'Caste' is today almost universally perceived as an ancient and unchanging Hindu institution preserved solely by a deep-seated religious ideology. Yet the word itself is an importation from sixteenth-century Europe. This book tracks the long history of the practices amalgamated under this label and shows their connection to changing patterns of social and political power down to the present. It frames caste as an involuted and complex form of ethnicity and explains why it persisted under non-Hindu rulers and in non-Hindu communities across South Asia.

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Edited by ZHANG Xingxing

The first volume of Historical Studies of Contemporary China offers an examination of some key events, developments, issues, and figures in China since the founding of the People’s Republic. Drawing on rich primary and secondary sources, leading experts in the political, economic, intellectual, military and national defense, and diplomatic history of the PRC present insights and analysis on a wide range of topics, including emergency measures during the Difficult Three Year Period, the relationship between Neo-Confucianism and Marxism, the evolution of China’s international arms control policies, the Chinese government’s public opinion campaign prior to reestablishing diplomatic relations with Japan, the “Kashmir Princess” incident, and others. These accounts will help readers form a more nuanced understanding of China’s efforts to deal with an array of new problems while trying to recover from the ravages of two wars.

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Edited by Jeannine Bischoff and Saul Mullard

In Social Regulation: Case Studies from Tibetan History the editors Jeannine Bischoff and Saul Mullard present a collection of studies of the mechanisms that regulated Tibetan societies from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Social regulations controlled, shaped and perpetuated Tibetan societies, but close analyses of these historical processes are rarely to be seen in ‘event history’ writing. The contributions to this volume explore the theme of social regulation from the perspectives of religion, politics and administration, while addressing issues of morals and values.
Covering a wide range of Tibetan societies, the geographical scope of this volume extends from the Central Tibetan area to the southeastern Tibetan borderlands and the Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Sikkim.
Contributors are: Alice Travers, Berthe Jansen, Charles Ramble, Fernanda Pirie, Jeannine Bischoff, Kalsang Norbu Gurung, Kensaku Okawa, Nyima Drandul, Peter Schwieger, Saul Mullard, Yuri Komatsubara



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Edited by James E. Ketelaar, Yasunori Kojima and Peter Nosco

The chapters in this volume variously challenge a number of long-standing assumptions regarding eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese society, and especially that society’s values, structure and hierarchy; the practical limits of state authority; and the emergence of individual and collective identity. By interrogating the concept of equality on both sides of the 1868 divide, the volume extends this discussion beyond the late-Tokugawa period into the early-Meiji and even into the present. An Epilogue examines some of the historiographical issues that form a background to this enquiry. Taken together, the chapters offer answers and perspectives that are highly original and should prove stimulating to all those interested in early modern Japanese cultural, intellectual, and social history
Contributors include: Daniel Botsman, W. Puck Brecher, Gideon Fujiwara, Eiko Ikegami, Jun’ichi Isomae, James E. Ketelaar, Yasunori Kojima, Peter Nosco, Naoki Sakai, Gregory Smits, M. William Steele, and Anne Walthall.

The History of Afghanistan Online

Fayż Muḥammad Kātib Hazārah's Sirāj al-tawārīkh

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh is the essential text for any scholar wishing to understand Afghanistan’s history. It forms the core text of historical writings from within Afghanistan for the period, 1747-1919. Mystery surrounded the work for decades to how many volumes existed. After the discovery of suppressed parts of the third and missing fourth volumes, Brill can now offer this extended resource, as it was originally envisaged by its author, in an accessible English language translation.

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh is the most important history of Afghanistan ever written. For many decades, Afghanistan’s history had been recounted through records of the experiences and policies of the British in India. And yet the country has a rich historiographic tradition of its own; the work we present here is the pinnacle of Afghanistan’s own writings.

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh was commissioned as an official national history by the Afghan prince, and later amir, Habib Allah Khan (reign 1901-1919). Its author, Fayz Muhammad Khan, better known as “Katib” (The Writer), was a Shiʿi Hazarah of the Muhammad Khwajah clan and scribe at the royal court. For more than twenty years he had full access to government archives and oral sources. His seminal work, the Sirāj al-tawārīkh, offers us an unparalleled picture of the country through his eyes.

The roots of much of the fabric of Afghanistan’s society today— tribe and state relations, the rule of law, gender issues, and the economy—are elegantly and minutely detailed in this preeminent text.

The work is of unparalleled significance to anyone studying the social, political, and economic history of Afghanistan as well as its relations with British India, Qajar Iran, Tsarist Central Asia, and the emirate of Bukhara. The extraordinary level of detail make it a fundamental resource for all scholarship on Afghanistan.

The History of Afghanistan Online is annotated, fully indexed, and includes introductions, twelve appendices, Persian-English and English-Persian glossaries, and a bibliography.

The History of Afghanistan is also available as a set of 11 volumes in print, covering all four volumes of this unique resource on Afghanistan.
The World Christian Database (WCD), which complements the World Religion Database, was completely refurbished in 2018. It includes detailed information on 9,000 Christian denominations and on religions in every country of the world. Extensive data are available on 238 countries and 13,000 ethno-linguistic peoples, as well as on 5,000 cities and 3,000 provinces. This extraordinary database is an invaluable reference tool for professionals, scholars, students, agencies, health organizations, and news media. Information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demography. Additional secular data is included on population, health, education, languages, and communication. All this information makes the WCD an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Christian and religious demography and the history of Christianity. Thousands of sources are evaluated and reviewed on a weekly basis by a professional staff dedicated to expanding and updating the WCD. There is no other resource completely focused on providing global statistics on World Christianity today.

Sources
- A large majority of the data collected for the WCD comes from published and unpublished sources, field work, interviews, and questionnaires - Around 5,000 statistical questionnaires returned by churches and national collaborators over the period 1982-present
- Field surveys and interviews on the spot in over 200 countries
- A mass of unpublished documentation on all countries, collected on the field, including reports, memoranda, photographs, maps, statistical summaries, and historical documents
- Around 4,500 printed contemporary descriptions of churches, describing denominations, movements, countries and confessions
- Officially-published reports of 500 government-organized national censuses of population
- A series of in-depth interviews with bishops, church leaders, and theologians

Detailed Religious and Demographic Statistics include:
- Global comparative figures for every major religion
- Population and religious adherents for every country and United Nations region
- Access to source material on religious affiliation (census and survey figures)
- Breakdown of major religions into traditions (e.g. Sunni-Shi’as within Islam)
- Multiple data points to compare growth rates (1900, 1950, 1970, 2000, 2005, 2025, 2050)
- Feedback mechanism for users to comment on data, sources and methodology
- Population and Adherents (for 1900, 1970, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2025, 2050)
- Demographics (birth rate, adult percentage, life expectancy)
- Health (HIV rates, access to water, mortality)
- Education (literacy percentage, schools, universities)
- Communication (scripture access, religious freedom)
- Christian personnel
- Evangelism rates
- Status of missions work
- Lists of Christian denominations in every country
- Country, regional, and global estimates of Pentecostals and Charismatics
- Status of Bible translation

Features and Benefits
- 9,000 Denominations
- 13,000 Ethnolinguistic Peoples
- 5,000 Cities
- 3,000 Provinces
- 238 Countries
- Quarterly updates
- Unique reference tool for professionals, scholars, students, agencies, news media

A demo is available on Brill’s Youtube channel.

Faith and the State

A History of Islamic Philanthropy in Indonesia

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Amelia Fauzia

Faith and the State offers a comprehensive historical development of Islamic philanthropy-- zakat (almsgiving), sedekah (donation) and waqf (religious endowment)-- from the time of the Islamic monarchs, through the period of Dutch colonialism and up to contemporary Indonesia. It shows a rivalry between faith and the state: between efforts to involve the state in managing philanthropic activities and efforts to keep them under control of Muslim civil society.
Philanthropy is an indication of the strength of civil society. When the state was weak, philanthropy developed powerfully and was used to challenge the state. When the state was strong, Muslim civil society tended to weaken but still found ways to use philanthropic practices in the public sphere to promote social change.