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Patricia Crone’s Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes.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.

 

 

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.

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.

On orality and textuality

Rubanovich, Julia (ed.). 2015. Orality and textuality in the Iranian world: Patterns of interaction across the centuries (Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture 19). Brill.

The volume demonstrates the cultural centrality of the oral tradition for Iranian studies. It contains contributions from scholars from various areas of Iranian and comparative studies, among which are the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition with its wide network of influences in late antique Mesopotamia, notably among the Jewish milieu; classical Persian literature in its manifold genres; medieval Persian history; oral history; folklore and more. The essays in this collection embrace both the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, both verbal and visual media, as well as various language communities (Middle Persian, Persian, Tajik, Dari) and geographical spaces (Greater Iran in pre-Islamic and Islamic medieval periods; Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan of modern times). Taken as a whole, the essays reveal the unique blending of oral and literate poetics in the texts or visual artefacts each author focuses upon, conceptualizing their interrelationship and function.

Mani in Dublin

Richter, Siegfried, Charles Horton & Klaus Ohlhafer (eds.). 2015. Mani in Dublin: Selected papers from the seventh international conference of the International Association of Manichaean Studies in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 8–12 September 2009 (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 88). Brill.

In 2009 the Seventh International Conference of Manichaean Studies was held at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. The 22 selected papers of this volume offer a deep insight into the faith of Manichaean communities ranging from the very beginning of the 3rd century up to the last traces of worship today. Among others the authors deal with sources from Augustin, John the Grammarian, Ephrem the Syrian and further sources written in Coptic, Sogdian, Middle Persian, Parthian and Chinese. Several studies about Manichaean art and iconography offer a visual impression, which gives a new opportunity for understanding the religion of Light.

Persian language, literature and culture

Talattof, Kamran. 2015. Persian language, literature and culture: New leaves, fresh looks. Routledge.

Critical approaches to the study of topics related to Persian literature and Iranian culture have evolved in recent decades. The essays included in this volume collectively demonstrate the most recent creative approaches to the study of the Persian language, literature, and culture, and the way these methodologies have progressed academic debate.

[…] In dealing with these seminal subjects, contributors acknowledge and contemplate the works of Ahmad Karimi Hakkak and other pioneering critics, analysing how these works have influenced the field of literary and cultural studies.

The reign of Shah ‘Abbas

FazliGhereghlou, Kioumars (ed.). 2015. A chronicle of the reign of Shah ‘Abbas: Fazli Beg Khuzani Isfahani. Gibb Memorial Trust.

This substantial and largely unknown Persian chronicle of the reign of Shah ‘Abbas I (1587-1629) exists in a unique manuscript, recently discovered in the Library of Christ’s College, Cambridge. Its author, Fazli Beg Khuzani Isfahani, member of an important bureaucratic family, provides an insider’s account of this crucial period in Persian history, with a wealth of detail about the central and provincial administration and much information not found in other sources. Shortly after the succession of Shah Safi (1629-42), Fazli Beg left for India, where he continued to work on his chronicle. So far, three volumes of the Afzal al-tavarikh have come to light, covering the reigns of Shah Isma‘il, Shah Tahmasp, and Shah ‘Abbas; none of them is complete and each exists only in a sole copy. Volume 3 on Shah ‘Abbas is a composite work, containing many of the author’s handwritten corrections and marginalia, making it a fascinating example of the composition of a work in progress. The complete text of 579 folios has been edited by Kioumars Ghereghlou (Columbia University Center for Iranian Studies); the publication is accompanied by detailed indexes and a substantial introduction by Kioumars Ghereghlou and Charles Melville (University of Cambridge) on the life and career of Fazli Beg, the significance of his work, and the manuscripts on which it is based. Volume 1 covers the years 996-1019 AH/ 1587-1610. Volume 2 covers the years 1020-1037 AH / 1611-1629. Both volumes are accompanied by a DVD with the text of the manuscript for the years in question.

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism

The long awaited Wiley-Blackwell companion to Zoroastrianism, edited by M. Stausberg and Y. Vevaina, is finally out. I have not seen the volume myself, but those who have, praise it highly, expecting it to have an impact on the ailing field of Iranian and Zoroastrian Studies. One expects nothing less from the editors and the contributing scholars.

Stausberg, Michael & Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina (eds.). 2015. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism. John Wiley & Sons.
This is the first ever comprehensive English-language survey of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest living religions

  • Evenly divided into five thematic sections beginning with an introduction to Zoroaster/Zarathustra and concluding with the intersections of Zoroastrianism and other religions
  • Reflects the global nature of Zoroastrian studies with contributions from 34 international authorities from 10 countries
  • Presents Zoroastrianism as a cluster of dynamic historical and contextualized phenomena, reflecting the current trend to move away from textual essentialism in the study of religion
The eBook version of the companion can be purchased here.