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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The Formation of Islam

Not only did Islam evolve in an existing religious context, but there was a long period in which influences ran in both directions: Morony, Iraq after the Muslim Conquest Princeton: One mark of their status resides in occasional instances in which Christians suffering from one of the outbreaks of Roman persecution converted to Judaism in order to protect themselves.

Islma served islaj Sasanians in iskam army and in the bureaucracy, sometimes in quite senior positions. This knowledge was embedded in the rich and inter-related body of texts — principally the Koran, collections of hadith, legal treaties and textbooks and commentaries on them — which formed the substantive basis for the training of those scholars who were known as the ulama. Liverpool University Press,1—24, esp. You could not be signed in. William Heinemann,2.

One of the characteristic features of the religious literature of late antiquity is its highly polemical nature. A more funda- mental problem is that Zoroastrian doctrine took shape only slowly, sometimes in response to the theological assertions of other religious traditions.


Signs of the survival of pagan traditions abound throughout the Near East.

World Publishing Company, By the rise of Islam, for example, the Jewish community of Babylonia was islqm over one thousand years old. Sapor and Kartir Chicago: Manichaeism had an appeal even for some early Muslims, as we shall see.

The Formation of Islam | Jonathan Berkey –

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.

Berkey writes of a connection between monotheism and its inclination toward universalist faith. Chitty, The Desert a City: Islamic Egypt, —, ed.

But more importantly, monotheism itself must have contributed to the phenomenon of universalism, since Carolina: No doubt Jews participated in the exchange, but it is significant that surviving examples of Jewish- Christian polemic come exclusively from the Christian side. The signs of competition are rampant: A second point concerns the universalist character and claims of the religions of late antiquity.

They were caught up in some way in the confused events associated with the Mazdakite movement in the Sasanian empire in the late fifth and early sixth centuries on which, see below ; their involvement issued at one point in a rebellion led by the exilarch Mar Zutra II, who established for seven years an independent Jewish state in Mahoza, until it was overrun by the Iranians and Mar Zutra captured and beheaded.


The efforts of both men failed. Knopf,— First, they tended to be closely associated with states and empires.

The exilarch, for example, functioned at times almost as a courtier of the Sasanian emperor, yet his authority rested in the final analysis on the claim of Davidic descent. Syria and Armenia in the Formative Period, ed. And when early Muslim polemicists defended their radical monotheism in the face of Iranian dualism, 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.

Oxford University Press,—, and Louis H. University of Notre Dame Press,although this work is somewhat sentimental and uncritical.

The Formation of Islam, by Jonathan P. Berkey

A non-Chalcedonian point of view is given in Aziz S. Meeks and Robert L. The Formation of Islam: Crossroads,—92, esp. See also the excellent summary of socio-religious thought and practice in the Sasanian period in Louise Marlow, Hierarchy and Egalitarianism in Islamic Thought Cambridge: Bayard Dodge New York: But such errancies aside, Zoroastrian doctrine affirmed the union of kingship and religion, and so enjoined universal obedience to the sacralized monarch.

Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, ; Samuel N. There were some non-Iranian converts to Formatioh, even among the tribes of the Arab flrmation.