Reception of Islam in Iran

Reposted on the occasion of the volume’s publication:

Crone, Patricia. 2016. The Iranian reception of Islam: The non-traditionalist strands (Islamic History and Civilization 130). Collected Studies in Three Volumes. Vol. 2 edited by Hanna Siurua. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

Patricia Crone’s Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.

Continue reading “Reception of Islam in Iran”

Hindu ritual and its significance for ritual theory

The following monograph, does not directly relate to Iranian Studies, but promises to be an important book and will be of interest to scholars of religion and Iranian Studies for its content and methodological approach:

Michaels, Axel. 2015. Homo Ritualis: Hindu ritual and its significance for ritual theory (Oxford Ritual Studies). Oxford University Press.

Drawing on extensive textual studies and fieldwork in Nepal and India, Axel Michaels demonstrates how the characteristic structure of Hindu rituals employs the Brahmanic-Sanskritic sacrifice as a model, and how this structure is one of the distinguishing features of Hinduism more generally. Many religions tend over time to develop less ritualized or more open forms of belief, but Brahmanical Hinduism has internalized ritual behavior to the extent that it has become its most important and distinctive feature, permeating social and personal life alike. The religion can thus be seen as a particular case in the history of religions in which ritual form dominates belief and develops a sweeping autonomy of ritual behavior.

Read more here.

Axel Michaels is Director of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe” and Professor of Classical Indology at the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg.

 

 

On obnoxious creatures!

Some nifty and original observations by my colleague and friend Shervin Farridnejad on a passage in the Nērangestān, discussing the priestly duty concerning the care of xrafstars, commonly referred to as obnoxious creatures:

Farridnejad, Shervin. 2015. Take care of the xrafstars! A note on Nēr. 7.5. DABIR 1(1). 11–13.

 

<nc> in the Pahlavi Documents

namāz in P 196
namāz in P 196

Zeini, Arash. 2015. Preliminary Remarks on Middle Persian <nc> in the Pahlavi Documents. In Anna Krasnowolska & Renata Rusek-Kowalska (eds.), Studies on the Iranian World I: Before Islam, 67–73. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press.

 

In the Pahlavi documents we find a sequence of characters that are commonly transliterated as 〈nc〉, representing Middle Persian namāz `reverence’. The vocalisation as namāz, a word most commonly found in the greeting formulae of letters, is not disputed. The question is rather whether these characters stand for a phonetic, albeit abbreviated, spelling of namāz or whether they constitute an abbreviation that developed out of the heterogram 〈ʿSGDH〉.
In light of recent developments in the field and the rather sizeable evidence, I will revisit the arguments brought forward thus far and propose a new interpretation.

The Avestan hymn to ‘Justice’

Hot off the press, it’s a great pleasure to announce a book by Leon, a colleague and a dear friend:

Goldman, Leon. 2015. Rašn Yašt: The Avestan hymn to ‘Justice’ (Beiträge zur Iranistik 39). Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

This book contains a critical edition of the Avestan language composition known as the Rašn Yašt, or ‘Hymn to Justice’. The text is accompanied by an English translation, philological commentary and glossary. In addition, the main themes of the Rašn Yašt are taken up for detailed discussion, covering the Zoroastrian deity Rašnu, ancient Iranian cosmography, and the use of ordeal rituals in pre-Islamic Iran.

Preface
Table of Contents
Sample

About the Author: Dr. Leon Goldman was born in 1981 in London, England. Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) degree from the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2004, with a particular focus on Indian religions and Sanskrit, he returned to London to pursue an M.A. in Iranian and Zoroastrian studies at SOAS. In 2012, he was awarded a Ph.D. from SOAS for his doctoral thesis entitled: Rašn Yašt. The Avestan Hymn to ‘Justice’. Text, Translation and Commentary. From 2012 to 2015, he held the post of British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at SOAS with a project devoted to the Sanskrit version of the Zoroastrian Yasna liturgy.

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Die Arier

An interesting ZDF documentary about racist ideologies in Germany. 35 minutes into the documentary Josef Wiesehöfer is interviewed about the term ‘Arier’ followed by interviews  with people in Abyaneh, presumably because they are believed to be Zoroastrians! The journey to Iran ends with a few shots at Naqš-e Rostam .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coGf0vrDLH8

Greater Khorasan

41rpR0iDDoLRante, Rocco (ed.). 2015. Greater Khorasan: History, geography, archaeology and material culture (Studies in the History and Culture of the Middle East, Volume 29). Walter de Gruyter.

The modern sense of “Greater Khorasan” today corresponds to a territory which not only comprises the region in the east of Iran but also, beyond Iranian frontiers, a part of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. In the past this entity was simply defined as Khorasan. In the Sassanid era Khorasan defined the “Eastern lands”. In the Islamic era this term was again taken up in the same sense it previously enjoyed. The Arab sources of the first centuries all mention the eastern regions under the same toponym, Khorasan. Khorasan was the gateway used by Alexander the Great to go into Bactria and India and, inversely, that through which the Seljuks and Mongols entered Iran. In a diachronic context Khorasan was a transit zone, a passage, a crossroads, which, above all in the medieval period, saw the creation of different commercial routes leading to the north, towards India, to the west and into China. In this framework, archaeological researches will be the guiding principle which will help us to take stock of a material culture which, as its history, is very diversified. They also offer valuable elements on commercial links between the principal towns of Khorasan. This book will provide the opportunity to better know the most recent elements of the principal constitutive sites of this geographical and political entity.

Tomb of the Two Elamite Princesses

tomb-Elamite-princeseesShishegar, Arman. 2015. Tomb of the Two Elamite Princesses: of The House of King Shutur-Nahunte son of Indada, Neo-Elamite Period, Phase IIIB (Ca.585-539 B.C.), Tehran: pažuhešgāh-e sāzmān-e mirās̱e farhangi.

This book, published in persian, is an Archaeological report of a tomb excavated in the village of Jubaji,  south-east of Ramhormoz, on the eastern boundary of the province of Khuzestan, south-western Iran. In April 2007, during the digging of a water channel by Khuzestan Water and Power Authority, a subterranean Tombstone was discovered but unfortunately was almost entirely ruined. Later, an excavation team directed by Arman Shishegar was immediately dispatched to the site to carry out rescue excavation. The tomb was completely excavated in three months.
The tomb belongs to two Elamite Princesses from the house of a Neo-Elamite king: Shutur-Nahunte son of Indada.

šišegar, ārmān.1394š [2015]. āramgāh-e do bānuy-e ʿīlāmi az ḫāndān-e šutur nahunte, pesar-e indada (dore-ye ʿīlam-e no. marhale-ye 3b (ḥodud-e 585 tā 539 p.m) [Tomb of the Two Elamite Princesses: of The House of King Shutur-Nahunte son of Indada, Neo-Elamite Period, Phase IIIB (Ca.585-539 B.C.)]. Tehran: pažuhešgāh-e sāzmān-e mirās̱e farhangi.

In Original:

شیشه‌گر، آرمان. ۱۳۹۴. آرامگاه دو بانوی عیلامی از خاندان شاه شوتور نهونته، پسر ایندد. دورهٔ عیلام نو، مرحلهٔ ۳ ب (حدود ۵۸۵ تا ۵۳۹ پ. م). تهران: پژوهشگاه میراث فرهنگی.