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Religious Culture in Late Antique Arabia


Selected Studies on the Late Antique Religious Mind


This volume explores aspects of religious culture in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula across Late Antiquity – the period of dynamic and historically crucial developments, culminating in the emergence of Islam. While it would be impossible to provide an exhaustive examination of the topic in a single volume, it is the main aim of this book to further stimulate scholarly research on the Late Antique context of the origins of Islam and the history of early Arab-Muslim culture.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0630-7
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 3,2017
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 379
Languages: English, German
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0630-7
$176.00
$123.20

This volume explores aspects of religious culture in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula across Late Antiquity – the period of dynamic and historically crucial developments, culminating in the emergence of Islam. The volume adopts a comprehensive approach to the study of religious history and culture. Transcending the boundaries of specific theological systems and ritual practices, it approaches the Late Antique religious mind as formed by shared world-views and cultural concepts, as well as social attitudes and political practices in the Late Antique Near East. In particular, the volume brings together selected studies on the ritual and theological aspects of Late Antique Arabia and on religious aspects of early and classical Arabic poetry. Furthermore, it also includes contributions on religious conversions and their impact on the settlement and other processes within the social history of the Arabs in the Roman and Sasanian Empires, and the early Caliphate. Lastly, two articles are dedicated to the religious history of South Arabia. While it would be impossible to provide an exhaustive examination of the topic in a single volume, it is the main aim of this book to further stimulate scholarly research on the Late Antique context of the origins of Islam and the history of early Arab-Muslim culture.

This volume explores aspects of religious culture in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula across Late Antiquity – the period of dynamic and historically crucial developments, culminating in the emergence of Islam. The volume adopts a comprehensive approach to the study of religious history and culture. Transcending the boundaries of specific theological systems and ritual practices, it approaches the Late Antique religious mind as formed by shared world-views and cultural concepts, as well as social attitudes and political practices in the Late Antique Near East. In particular, the volume brings together selected studies on the ritual and theological aspects of Late Antique Arabia and on religious aspects of early and classical Arabic poetry. Furthermore, it also includes contributions on religious conversions and their impact on the settlement and other processes within the social history of the Arabs in the Roman and Sasanian Empires, and the early Caliphate. Lastly, two articles are dedicated to the religious history of South Arabia. While it would be impossible to provide an exhaustive examination of the topic in a single volume, it is the main aim of this book to further stimulate scholarly research on the Late Antique context of the origins of Islam and the history of early Arab-Muslim culture.

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Contributor Biography

Kirill Dmitriev

Kirill Dmitriev is Lecturer in Arabic at the University of St Andrews, UK. His primary research focuses on the study of classical Arabic language and literature, the historical semantics of the Arabic language and the religious history of the Arab world. He also has a strong interest in comparative literary and cultural studies, as well as Digital Humanities. He is co-founder of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Principal Investigator in the research project ‘Language-Philology-Culture. Arab Cultural Semantics in Transition’ (European Research Council). Kirill Dmitriev holds a PhD degree in Classical Arabic Literature from the Free University Berlin, Germany. 

Isabel Toral-Niehoff

Isabel Toral-Niehoff studied History and Islamic & Arabic Studies at the University of Tübingen, where she completed her PhD in 1997 with a study on Greek-Arabic Magic: Kitāb Ǧiranīs. Die arabische Übersetzung der ersten Kyranis des Hermes Trismegistos und die griechischen Parallelen.She later completed her Habilitation (licentiate thesis) in 2008 at the Free University Berlin (Arabic Studies), with the publication of the book: Al-īra. Eine arabische Kulturmetropole im spätantiken Kontext (Brill: 2014). Since 1997, she has held various research positions and fellowships at academic institutions, including in Freiburg, Berlin, London and Göttingen. Her primary fields of interest are Arabia and the Near East in Late Antiquity; cultural identity and cultural contact/transfer; Arabic occult sciences; adab, fiction and encyclopaedias, and Al-Andalus. Since September 2016, she has served as scientific coordinator of the Excellence Cluster COPING PRACTICES at Mainz University and continues to teach at the Free University Berlin as Privatdozent since 2008. Her book on Al-īrawas recipient of the prestigious Iran Book Award in 2016.

Table of Contents (v)
Introduction (1)
I. RITUAL AND THEOLOGICAL ASPECTS (9)
   The Silence of the Gods. Some Observations on the Destruction of Pagan Temples, Shrines and Statues in the Late Antique East (from Constantine to Muḥammad) KONSTANTIN M. KLEIN (11)
   The Relationship Between Theological Teaching and Religious Practice by the East-Syrian Christians in Qatar (Sixth – Seventh Centuries) MARTIN TAMCKE (89)
II. RE-INVESTIGATING THE TEXTS OF EARLY AND CLASSICAL ARABIC POETRY (103)
   Glory and immortality: the motif of monumentum aere perennius by Samawʾal b. ʿĀdiyāʾ KIRILL DMITRIEV (105)
   Tracing the Reception of the Protoevangelium of James in Late Antique Arabia: the Case of the Poetry of Umayya ibn Abī aṣ-Ṣalt and its Intersection with the Quran CORNELIA HORN (123)
   Traders, Innkeepers and Cup-Bearers: Foreigners and People of the Book in Arabic Wine Poetry BRUNO PAOLI (147)
III. RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES IN THE CONTEXT OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY (163)
   From Mavia to al-Mundhir: Arab Christians and Arab Tribes in the Late Antique Roman East GREG FISHER (165)
   Inclusion and Seclusion in Late Antique and Early Medieval Settlement Strategies in Syria and Palestine MATTIA GUIDETTI (219)
IV. PERSPECTIVES ON THE RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF SOUTH ARABIA (247)
   Altsüdarabische Kulte im vorchristlichen Abessinien FRANCIS BREYER (249)
   Les évolutions du calendrier dans le royaume de Ḥimyar : quelques hypothèses CHRISTIAN JULIEN ROBIN (281)

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