Patterns of argumentation in late antique and early Islamic interreligious debates

A workshop taking place on 21–22 February 2014 at King’s College London.

Visit the workshop website. The programme is available here.

The workshop ‘Patterns of Argumentation in Late Antique and Early Islamic Interreligious Debates’ brings together a group of experts on late antique and early Islamic religious texts to reflect on this type of literature. We will discuss how religious ideas in the Eastern Mediterranean world (6th-8th c. CE) were shaped by the challenges of rival religious groups, and especially what patterns of argumentation were employed within the genre of religious disputation in order to formulate answers to critical questions from inside and outside the community.

Persepolis

Mousavi, Ali. 2012. Persepolis: Discovery and afterlife of a world wonder. Boston/Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Persepolis was recently chosen for the 21st “world prize for the book of the year” of the Islamic Republic of Iran. For an interview with the author, see here.

For more on the book, see here. Abstract:

Persepolis: Discovery and Afterlife of a World Wonder presents the first full study of the history of archaeological exploration at Persepolis after its destruction in 330 BC. Based in part on archival evidence, anecdotal information, and unpublished documents, this book describes in detail the history of archaeological exploration, visual documentation, and excavations at one of the most celebrated sites of the ancient world. The book addresses a broad audience of readers ranging from students of the archaeology, history, and art history of ancient, medieval, and modern Iran to scholars in Classical Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

 

The use of Tafsir in translating the Koran

A conference taking place on 28 February 2014 at the Warburg Institute.

Visit the conference website.

The purpose of the conference is to assess the significance of tafsir (Muslim interpretations of the Qur’an) in western translations of the Qur’an from the Middle Ages to the late nineteenth century. The speakers will discuss which tafsir were used, how they were treated, and how they affected western knowledge of Islam.

Appropriation of a religion

Stausberg, Michael & Anna Tessmann. 2013. The appropriation of a religion: The case of Zoroastrianism in contemporary Russia. Culture and Religion 14 (4). 445–462.

Read the article here.

Mantiq al-tayr ‘The Speech of the Birds’

Among the recently digitised Persian manuscripts of the British Library is the manuscript BL Add. 7735, an illustrated copy of Farīd al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār’s Manṭiq al-ṭayr ‘The Speech of the Birds’. The Asian and African studies blog of the British Library discusses this manuscript and the Manṭiq al-ṭayr in a multi-part blog, featuring superb miniatures.

To find out more, see part 1, 2, 34.

EAGLE 2014 International Conference

International Conference on Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Digital Cultural Heritage in the Ancient World

29 September–1 October 2014, Paris, France

Organised by EAGLE with the support of Collège de France Chaire Religion, institutions et société de la Rome antique and École Normale Supérieure.

For more information, see here.

A goddess or a queen?

Shenkar, Michael. 2013. A goddess or a queen? On the interpretation of the female figure on the relief of Narseh at Naqš-e Rostam (in Russian). In Scripta Antiqua, vol. 3: Edward Rtveladze felicitation volume. Moscow.

Read there article here. Abstract:

The article offers a reassessment of the identity of the female figure found on the relief of the Sasanian king Narseh at Naqš-e Rostam. Based on iconographic analysis of the relief and discussion of the arguments put forward by A. Sh. Shahbazi and U. Weber, it is concluded that the figure is not a queen but rather a goddess. She is most probably to be identified with the goddess Anāhitā, to whom Narseh was perhaps personally devoted. This discussion is followed by a critical examination of the pictorial representations of Anāhitā in the pre-Islamic Iranian world. It is emphasized that Anāhitā was a western Iranian goddess whose worship was probably imported to Bactria after this part of the eastern Iranian world came under the rule of the Sasanian kings.

Introduction to TEI and oXygen

As part of our group’s ongoing engagement with the Yasna, I will be leading a one day workshop on TEI and oXygen. This is an internal meeting with the aim of introducing the participants of the Yasna project to the ideas behind encoding texts and exploring features offered by the oXygen XML editor.

This is the first session in a series of meetings to be held at the Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge.

Date & time: Saturday 25 Jan 2014; 14:00–18:00
Location: AIIT, Cambridge

پرده نقش‌دار زرتشتیان

متن نسخه‌ی فارسی مصاحبه من با دکتر ستوارت درباره‌ی نمایشگاه شعله‌ی جاویدان را اینجا بخوانید.

Sasanian elites and kinship ties

I found Prof. Macuch’s lecture at the FAMES, entitled Kinship Ties and Fictive Alliances in Sasanian Law, very engaging. The lecture was in two parts. First, she gave an overview of the  Sasanian interpretation of kinship and discussed wealth, property management and inheritance. In the clearly structured introduction she defined the various models of matrimony such as fully qualified marriage, proxy, temporary and fictive marriages and their purposes. In the shorter second part she interpreted the social purpose of these legal institutions. She argued that the complex Sasanian legal system was carried by the Zoroastrian clergy and served to protect the elites’ wealth, preventing it from passing to commoners. In her view, the protection of wealth in this manner resulted in a two class society with a severe imbalance of wealth. She closed her lecture with the suggestion that this imbalance of wealth may have contributed to the collapse of the Sasanian Empire in the wake of the Islamic conquests.

A predominantly bibliographic blog for Iranian Studies