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Warrior Saints of the Silk Road

Legends of the Qarakhanids

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Jeff Eden

For generations, Central Asian Muslims have told legends of medieval rulers who waged war, died in battle, and achieved sainthood. Among the Uyghurs of East Turkistan (present-day Xinjiang, China), some of the most beloved legends tell of the warrior-saint Satuq Bughra Khan and his descendants, the rulers of the Qarakhanid dynasty. To this day, these tales are recited at the saints' shrines and retold on any occasion.
Warrior Saints of the Silk Road introduces this rich literary tradition, presenting the first complete English translation of the Qarakhanid narrative cycle along with an accessible commentary. At once mesmerizing, moving, and disturbing, these legends are essential texts in Central Asia's religious heritage as well as fine, enduring works of mystical literature.
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The Persianate World

Rethinking a Shared Sphere

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The Persianate World: Rethinking a Shared Sphere is among the first books to explore the pre-modern and early modern historical ties among such diverse regions as Anatolia, the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, Western Xinjiang, the Indian subcontinent, and southeast Asia, as well as the circumstances that reoriented these regions and helped break up the Persianate ecumene in modern times. Essays explore the modalities of Persianate culture, the defining features of the Persianate cosmopolis, religious practice and networks, the diffusion of literature across space, subaltern social groups, and the impact of technological advances on language. Taken together, the essays reflect the current scholarship in Persianate studies, and offer pathways for future research.
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The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil

A Seventeenth-Century Persian Popular Romance

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Barry Wood

The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil recounts the dramatic formative years of the Safavid empire (1501–1722), as preserved in Iranian popular memory by coffeehouse storytellers and written down in manuscripts starting in the late seventeenth century. Beginning with the Safavids’ saintly ancestors in Ardabil, the story goes on to relate the conquests of Shāh Esmāʿil (r. 1501–1524) and his devoted Qezelbāsh followers as they battle Torkmāns, Uzbeks, Ottomans, and even Georgians and Ethiopians in their quest to establish a Twelver Shiʿi realm. Barry Wood’s translation brings out the verve and popular tone of the Persian text. A heady mixture of history and legend, The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil sheds important light on the historical self-awareness of late Safavid Iran.
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The Nonprofit Sector in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (EERCA), edited by David Horton Smith, Alisa V. Moldavanova, and Svitlana Krasynska, uniquely provides a research overview of the nonprofit sector and nonprofit organizations in eleven former Soviet republics, with each central chapter written by local experts. Such chapters, with our editorial introductions, present up-to-date versions of works previously published in EERCA native languages. With a Foreword by Susan Rose-Ackerman (Yale University), introductory and concluding chapters also explain the editors’ theoretical approach, setting the whole volume in several, relevant, larger intellectual contexts, and summarize briefly the gist of the book. The many post-Soviet countries show much variety in their current situation, ranging from democratic to totalitarian regimes.
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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, Kawahara Yayoi, Robert McChesney, Ashirbek Muminov, Maria Subtelny, Eren Tasar, and Waleed Ziad.