Studies in Iranian Philology

Barbera, Gerardo, Matteo De Chiara, Alessandro Del Tomba, Bhikkhunī Dhammadinnā, Federico Dragoni & Paola Orsatti (eds.). 2024. Siddham. Studies in Iranian philology in honour of Mauro Maggi. Wiesbaden: Ludwig Reichert Verlag.

This volume is a tribute to Mauro Maggi, celebrating his distinguished career and significant contributions in the fields of Iranian, Indo-Aryan, and Central Asian philology and linguistics. It features a diverse collection of papers presented by colleagues, former students, and friends, reflecting the broad spectrum of Mauro Maggi’s research interests. This collection not only honours Mauro Maggi’s extensive scholarly contributions but also serves as a valuable resource for researchers in Iranian, Indo-Aryan, and Central Asian studies. It will be of interest and value to scholars of Iranian philology and linguistics, as well as those in Indo-European linguistics, Central Asian philology, and Buddhist literature. Through this comprehensive tribute, the volume underscores the lasting impact of Mauro Maggi’s work and his enduring legacy in the field.


Iranian Elements in Buddhist Astrology

Our last post for the year 2017, an article by Jeffrey Kotyk, is appropriately on Iranian elements in Buddhist astrology. We wish all our readers a happy new year:

Kotyk, Jeffrey. 2017. Iranian elements in Late-Tang Buddhist astrology. Asia Major 30(1), 25-58.

Overview of the history of Chinese Buddhist astrology with a special focus on Iranian elements in the Qiyao rangzai jue 七曜攘災決.


Iranian, Manichaean and Central Asian Studies in Memoriam Sundermann

Herausgegeben von einem Team „Turfanforschung“. 2017. Zur lichten Heimat. Studien zu Manichäismus, Iranistik und Zentralasienkunde im Gedenken an Werner Sundermann (Iranica 25). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Werner Sundermann’s central research subject was the Middle Iranian fragments from Turfan oasis in East Turkistan, today’s Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, China. He always placed his texts in a philological, linguistic, or religious-historical context. The findings of these studies have extended far beyond Iranian studies to include the history of Central Asia, Iranian and Indo-European studies and literary history as well as to Turkology and Buddhist studies.
The memorandum contains more than fifty contributions on Minichaean, Iranian and Central Asian Studies, as well as other neighboring fields. Among others, some new text fragments from the Turfan region, Dunhuang and Iran are for the first time edited and presented. Furthermore new studies on the sources of Central Asian origin and the Greek-Roman and Persian cultural areas are introduced and individual phenomena of languages or religions are analyzed.

Minorities in Iran and Beyond in Memory of Rudolf Macúch

Rudolf Macúch (1919-1993)
Rudolf Macúch (1919-1993)

Minorities and Majorities in the Middle East and Asia

In Memory of Rudolf Macúch (1919-1993)

The Department of Comparative Religion is honoured to invites to the conference titled “Minorities and Majorities in the Middle East and Asia” which will take place at the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in Bratislava on the days of 14th and 15th of September. The conference is dedicated to the memory of the world-renowned scholar Professor Rudolf Macúch. The talks cover different aspects of the religions and cultures of minorities, especially in today Iran and Iraq, from Mandaeans, Christians, Yezidis, Yārsān (Ahl-e Haq) and Sufīs to Buddhists, ect.

Organizers: Department of Comparative Religion, Comenius University in Bratislava
Slovak Association for the Study of Religions
Venue: Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Arts, 2 Gondova St.

Conference programme (PDF):

Wednesday, 14th September 2016

  • Maria Macuch: “Rudolf Macuch – A Life Dedicated to the Study of Minorities”
  • Eden Naby: “Modern Assyrian Culture and Prof Rudolf Macuch”
    Mahmoud Jaafari-Dehaghi: “Professor Rudolf Macúch at the University of Tehran”
  • Jiří Gebelt: “Rudolf Macúch’s Contributions to the Mandaean Studies in the Light of Current Research”

PANEL 1: The Mandaeans of Iran

  • Muhammad Allahdadi: “Are Mandaeans Men of the Book? A Study of the Evolution of Shi’a Jurists’ Ideas about Mandaeans As Men of the Book”
  • Mohsen Jafari: “The Mandaeans: The Lost Tribe of the Iranian Constitution”
  • Reza Yarinia: “The Mandaean Cosmological Structure and Its Manifestation in the Purity of Creatures”
  • Behnam Eskandari: “The Mandaeans’ Mythical and Religious Communications with Other Religions”

Thursday, 15th September 2016

PANEL 2: Diasporas

  • Martin Klapetek: “The Near Orient? The Transfer of “Otherness” to European Contexts”
  • Torsten Tschacher: “On Being a Multiple Minority: ‘Indian Muslims’ in Singapore between ‘Race’ and ‘Religion”
  • Katarína Šomodiová: “The Iraqi Christian Community in Slovakia”

PANEL 3: Multiplied and fragmented minorities

  • Alam Saleh: “The Fragmented Middle East: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Religion”
  • Attila Kovács: “Minority-Majority Dynamics and the Public Space in the Old City of Jerusalem: A Visual Approach”
  • Dušan Deák: “Emplacing the Saintliness: Rural Muslim Religiosity between Vaishnavas Sufis and Demons”

PANEL 4: Minority policies

  • Luboš Bělka: “Minority Religion: The History of Russia´s Policy towards Tibetan Buddhism in Buryatia (1717-2016)”
  • Marko Jovanović: “Uyghur Separatism: A Fight for Cultural or Religious Identity?”
  • Eszter Spät: “Religion and Nation-Building among the Yezidis of Iraq”

PANEL 5:  Minorities and Religious Dogmatics

  • Alireza Bahrami: “Exploring Islam’s View about the Men of the Book”
  • Lukáš Větrovec: “Present-Day Reflections of the Viewpoints of Ibn Taymiyya on Non-Muslim Communities”
  • Qasem Muhammadi: “Religious Minorities ‘the Self’ or ‘the Other’ in the Islamic Government as Presented in the Shi‘a School of Thought”

PANEL 7: Religious fractions and groups

  • Seyedeh Behnaz Hosseini: “Yārsān-a religious minority in Iran”
  • Mahmoud Jafari-Dehaghi: “Buddhism in the East of Iran”
  • Abdolmajid Etesami: “Zayd Ibn Ali Ibn Husayn (a.s.) and the Imamate”
  • Matej Karásek: “Christian sannyasis and Christian ashram movement in India: minors amongst Hindus or Christians?”

PANEL 8: Minorities and majorities in literature & writing

  • Łukasz Byrski: “Writing Systems and the Minorities”
  • Deepra Dandekar: “Popular Islamic Literature and Muslim Minoritization in India”
  • Miklós Sárközy: “Wladimir Ivanow and his memoirs about Iranian Ismailis and Gypsies”
  • Estiphan Panoussi: “Hungarian Calvinist Church in Budapest Hungary Classifications of Difficulties of Some Verbal Roots and Homonyms the the Senaya Dialect of Neo-Aramaic”

Cultural Transfer along the Silk Road

Espagne, Michel, Svetlana Gorshenina, Frantz Grenet, Sahin Mustafayev & Claude Rapin (eds.). 2016. Asie centrale: transferts culturels le long de la route de la soie. Paris: Vendémiaire.
This collection of essays is the result of the International Symposium “Cultural Transfers in Central Asia: before, during and after the Silk Road” (Conference Program), held in Samarkand on 12–14 September 2013. Expanding the original Eurocentric orientation in a broad chronological and interdisciplinary perspective and involving new materials, the participants have attempted to test the methodological approach of the “cultural transfers” and the effectiveness of their basic concepts (ways of travel, guides, translators, innovation, assimilation of “new” assignments, semantic shifts, etc.) in the Central Asian context. In these studies Central Asia includes mainly the post-Soviet space and its Central Asian neighbors like Siberia, Xinjiang, Afghanistan, Iran and Azerbaijan. The purpose of the collection is to determine the significance of the theory of the “cultural transfers” and, if possible, the range of its applications.

Kushan Histories

Kushan HistoriesFalk, Harry (ed.). 2015. Kushan histories. Literary sources and selected papers from a symposium at Berlin, December 5 to 7, 2013 (Monographien zur indischen Archäologie, Kunst und Philologie 23). Bremen: Hempen Verlag.

Harry Falks “Kushan Histories“ discusses new research concerning the Kushan dynasty and is based on a Symposium held from December 5-7th, 2013 in Berlin.

The first part of the book introduces the literary sources. After naming the primary sources and translations a wide range of texts presented chronologically gives an overview of the Kushan history in its totality.

In the second part of “Kushan Histories” five papers deal with different religious, military and cultural aspects of the Kushan dynasty: How were the expansion of Buddhism and the dynasty linked to each other and which role did Zoroastrianism play among the Kushans? How can new geographical perspectives prove the former existence of a military camp of the Kushans north of the Bactra oasis? Which historical data regarding Kanishka’s conquest of India can be drawn from a Bactrian inscription and what did the female deity Nana mean to the Kushans?

Table of Contents


Books as material and symbolic artifacts in religious book cultures

Books as Material and Symbolic Artifacts in Religious Book CulturesBooks as Material and Symbolic Artifacts in Religious Book Cultures

Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr University Bochum: 28 & 29 May 2015

The Käte Hamburger Kolleg Workshop on Books as Material and Symbolic Artifacts in Religious Book Cultures will analyze the connections between books and manuscripts as material artifacts and the formation of religious book cultures before the printing era. It will also explore the ways in which, in religious book production, the medium, in its forms of “human and institutional interactions,” influences the transmission of the religious message, allowing for the material format to receive further alterations from the religious message itself. Finally, this workshop will investigate interactions between modern religious groups and the very academic books which describe them.

Programm of The KHK Workshop on Books as Religious Artifacts (May 28-29, 2015)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

  • Costantino Moretti (Paris): “Non-Textual Uses in Buddhist Medieval China”
  • Grégoire Espesset (Bochum): “Petitioning in Pre-Modern Taoist Liturgy”
  • Vladimir Glomb (Bochum): “Sagehood for Young Boys: Confucian Primers in Traditional Korea”
  • Shervin Farridnejad (Berlin): “The Zoroastrian “Holy Book”: The Understanding and Construction of the Avesta as a Book in Zoroastrian Tradition and Oriental Studies”
  • Kianoosh Rezania (Bochum): “The Zoroastrian “Pahlavi Book”: The Genesis of the Dēnkard in the Early Abbasid Period”
  • Marie Efthymiou (Aix-Marseille): “Suras Collections in Central Asia: From Manuscripts Used in Daily Devotions to Teaching Subject in Quranic Schools”

Friday, 29 May 2015

  • Ksenia Pimenova (Bochum): “Ethnographers, Their Books, and Their Shamans: The Scripturalization of Post-Soviet Tuvan Shamanism”
  • Mareile Haase (Bochum): “The Zagreb Mummy Wrappings: An Etruscan Linen Book from Egypt”
  • AnneMarie Luijendijk (Princeton): “Put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time (Jer. 32:14): On Saving and Discarding Sacred Books”
  • Flavia Ruani (Ghent): “Books of Protection, Books of Perdition: Book Imagery in Ephrem the Syrian’s Heresiology”
  • Eduard Iricinschi (Bochum): “No one in Rome really has time to attend readings (Pliny, Letters, 3.18.4): The Anxiety of Publishing Books in Late Antiquity”