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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By contrast, another strand within the Zoroastrian tradition in the Sasanian period subordinated both Ahura Mazda and the personification of the evil principle, Ahriman, to an impersonal god of infinite time and space, Zurvan. The elaborate mythology developed by Mani in his writings posited a universe produced by the conflict between two primal forces, light and darkness, truth and falsehood, expressed sometimes in Christian language as God the Father and the devil, and sometimes in Zoroastrian terms as Zurvan and Ahriman.
And when early Muslim polemicists defended their radical monotheism in the face of Iranian dualism, berkeey was the compelling mythology and syncretistic doctrine of Mani, rather than the Zoroastrianism associated with the Sasanian ov, which occupied most of their attention.
The formation of Islam: religion and society in the Near East, 600-1800
A second point concerns the universalist character and claims of the religions of late antiquity. Mingana, Sources Syriaques, 2 vols.
The religious identity of a pagan in, say, an Egyptian village may have been related to, and informed by, the dominant myths which have survived in ancient Egyptian literature and the cults of the temples whose finances were increasingly in disarray. One historian has described a veritable religious war which traumatized large portions of Upper Egypt in the rormation century, where entire villages remained untouched by Christianity.
And he surveys the ascetic and mystical strands of Islam.
The state began to interfere in the practice of Jewish law, subjecting Jews to Roman law in matters such as marriage and inheritance, thereby undermining the juridical foundations of Jewish identity and the autonomy which the Jews had enjoyed under pagan Rome. Christians served the Sasanians in the army and in the bureaucracy, sometimes in quite senior positions.
The Formation of Islam: The signs of competition are rampant: 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.
They helped to make possible, for example, the emergence of traditions which claimed adherents beyond any one city or locality: On the other hand, its failure was not immediately apparent, even to the Islamic conquerors of the Near East in the seventh and eighth centuries. To cite just one instance, one which may have been known to the emperor Constantine: A non-Chalcedonian point of view is given in Aziz S.
But by the fourth century, the cultural and probably the demographic center of Judaism lay to the east, in Mesopotamia.
As a historical matter, it would be meaningless to say that Christianity caused the process; but that process involved a dialogue, and most of the participants in that dialogue were Christian. University of Chicago Press,— Berkey includes a general outline of the political history of the Near East, but focuses on the tensions between religion and political authority, with the fragmentation beroey the latter and the presence of “alien” mostly Turkish military regimes.
Frend, The Rise of Christianity Philadelphia, More importantly, from our perspective, the 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 Formarion era. Wilfred Griggs, Early Egyptian Christianity: And after removing her infant and cooking ebrkey in a pot, all those who were intending to fight dipped the sleeves of their right arm in this detestable sacrifice.
Above all, Jews were found in Alexandria, the capital of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, in which they formed a distinct and self-regulating community.
The Formation of Islam (Jonathan Berkey) – book review
His doctrine bore a superficial resemblance to Christianity — Jesus, for example, plays a prominent role in the Manichaean myth — but Mani also drew upon certain Indian ideas such as metempsychosis and especially Iranian dualism. Separate polytheistic, monotheistic, and especially dualist strands can be identified within the broader Zoroastrian tradition.
The religions of late antiquity 17 after a distinctive Christian church and faith had emerged. Hellenism was a powerful cultural current, one which pulled many Jews into its wake. His treatment is heavily weighted towards the earlier history, with two thirds of it on the first four centuries, on But the Jews of Mesopotamia also experienced the sharpening of communal boundaries berey the betkey before the rise of Islam.
Brill,berksy the still serviceable work of H. Of course it did eventually become universalist; the existence and permanence of a territorially enormous and explicitly Muslim state probably made that transformation inevitable. Brill,95; Michael G.
Rather than consult with recognized authority figures, Muslim individuals were inclined to speak with persons deemed holy by their asceticism about their worldly concerns, such as slaves that had fled, or the complaint that a master was unjust, forcing the holy men, “who had quit the world,” back to worldly concerns.
Paganism participated fully in that dialogue, and formahion it contributed in substantial and subtle ways to the religious life of those who came later. On certain matters of ritual touching intimate areas of human life and expectations, divergence in practice could create real feelings of uneasiness or even revulsion: