Religion and Society in the Near East, | Berkey’s focus in The Formation of Islam is on ideas and institutions and their social and political context. Khalid Yahya Blankinship; Jonathan P. Berkey. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, – (Themes in Islamic. Berkey is an Associate Professor of History at Davidson College. He describes Islam as having developed across generations, and he writes of various religious .
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Help Center Find new research papers in: Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. For the early period there are problems with sources which were mostly written in the context of later debates and divides. Sapor and Kartir Chicago: Berkey states that Islam was originally a monotheism for Arabs and that later, following Arab conquests outside of Arabia, Islam became a faith for others — as it was for Christianity, which was a movement of Jews and developed into a faith that included others.
The Christological controversies which plagued Roman Christianity also had an impact in the Sasanian world.
Produced by increasingly literate societies, they were frequently affirmed by scriptures, both those for which a divine origin was claimed the Torah, say, or the Koran and those of a more exegetical character the Talmudas well as those of a more indeterminate nature the Zoroastrian Avestan texts and the surviving com- mentaries in which they are embedded.
Kavad sought to undermine the purity of lineage, and thus the status and power of the formatoon, by insisting upon universal access to women; while Mazdak led a peasant revolt which demanded universal access too, or at least the radical redistribution of, both women and wealth.
The formation of Islam: religion and society in the Near East, 600-1800
Fromation we shall see, the relationship between Judaism and Islam was just as close. Even so, there was a strong universalizing streak in the Judaism of late antiquity. This is what academics call a universalist faith.
Related articles in Google Scholar. A Zoroastrian Dilemma Oxford: Conybeare in two volumes London: Moreover, what became the principal medieval image of Mary — suckling the infant Jesus — can be traced back iconographically to Egyptian depictions of the goddess Isis nursing her infant son Horus. Pagans and Christians New York: The Zoroastrian literature, however, articulated a much more com- plicated and baroque social vision, in which humanity was divided among four social strata, variously defined but commonly consisting of priests, the military, cultivators, and artisans.
This was particularly formaiton in southwest Asia, given the presence there of Palestine beroey of the significant Jewish population in Babylonia: He covers the development of Shi’ism, including the separation of its Isma’ili and Twelver strands, and the formation of Sunni traditionalism “what we now call Sunni Islam is, in a way, simply non-Shi’i Islam” around shared ideas about law, formaion or the doctrine of consensus, and the role and authority of the ulama: On the other hand, the hostility which sometimes characterized their relations with Melkite authorities probably helped to sap the vigor of Roman efforts to resist the Arabs in Syria and Egypt.
Beacon Press,esp. And when early Muslim polemicists defended their radical monotheism in the face of Iranian formwtion, it was the compelling mythology and syncretistic doctrine of Mani, rather than the Zoroastrianism associated with the Sasanian state, which occupied most of their attention. The Formation of Oof The Formation of Islam: More importantly, from our perspective, formtion challenge had a lasting legacy on religious developments in the medieval Near East, since much of the doctrine of Mazdak reappeared among certain sectarian groups in Iran during the first several centuries of the Muslim era.
The cultures produced in this region, and in those territories around its periphery including Anatolia, the peninsula of Arabia, and Iran as far as the Oxus River which played such critical roles in its historical development, mingled productively if not always entirely freely.
The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods, ed. According to the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes, when Arab armies besieged the town of Pergamon inits inhabitants in desperation resorted to a magician and his rather startling formula for salvation. And mono- theism, or at least a tendency toward belief in a single god, permeated the late antique world, by no means exclusively in its Jewish or Christian form.
Some non-Jews, for example, were perplexed by particular Jewish practices, such as circumcision and their refusal to work on the Sabbath, by which the Jews self- consciously set themselves apart from their neighbors. By the fourth and fifth centuries, the rabbis had foemation an institutional structure for instruction and learning through which their interpretation of Jewish law came to be dominant, not just in Iraq, but among Jews throughout the diaspora.
Nonetheless, reconstructing the history of Judaism in the Near East in the centuries before and after the rise of Islam is difficult, given the nature of the surviving historical record; much of the story has to be pieced together from sources hostile to the Jews and their faith. Much recent scholarship has tended to minimize the gap in the late antique Near East separating Hellenized cities from the non-Greek Syriac, for instance, or Coptic islamm, and has stressed the extent to which Hellenism penetrated all layers of society and provided a common cultural formatiin.
Not only did Islam evolve in an existing religious context, but there was a long period in which influences ran in both directions: Article PDF first page preview. First, they tended to be closely associated with states and empires.
The Formation of Islam, by Jonathan P. Berkey
They continued to plague the church through the rise of Islam, and probably contributed to the frustrations felt by Muhammad and his followers at the apparent doctrinal disorder of and internecine squabbling within the Christian community.
Princeton University Press, Berkey writes of the mystical tradition which came to be known as Sufism, which came into conflict with Muslim political authorities of some formtaion. This was true even of a religion such as Judaism, which, succumbing to the powerful gravitational pull of late antique Hellenism, moved beyond the this-worldly focus of its core Biblical texts.
Many Egyptians passionately embraced the Monophysite position, as did the churches of Armenia and Ethiopia, and most of the Christians of Syria.
Part bsrkey the problem is textual: American Historical Association members Sign in via society site. In an ethnically mixed area such as Iraq, however, Zoroastrianism was primarily the religion of the ruling elite, Iranians belonging to the upper classes and serving the Sasanian state. Sufis themselves have traced, with sincere conviction, the intellectual descent of their principles and ideas back to the very earliest Muslims, including most importantly Ali ibn Abi Talib and the Prophet Muhammad himself.
Several historians have persuasively argued that the cultural overtones and political implications of the theological division should be minimized: Oxford University Press,—, and Louis H.
The God of Israel was known throughout the Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds, thanks to the widespread dispersal of his worshipers. Only through the king did the people have access to religion, god, and salvation.
Sign in via your Institution Sign in. The dialogue was not always a friendly one — quite the contrary.