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ISBN:0812242378
Author: Johan Elverskog
ISBN13: 978-0812242379
Title: Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road (Encounters with Asia)
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Language: English
Category: World
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (March 25, 2010)
Pages: 352

Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road (Encounters with Asia) by Johan Elverskog



Johan Elverskog is a scholar specializing both in Islamic and Buddhist Studies so this book couldn’t be more definitive in its treatment of the interactions between Islam and Buddhism. What this book does is finally fill the gap of books that clearly explain the 1000+ years of interaction, co-existence, struggle, and understanding between Islam and Buddhism. Because its subject matter, the book also details the history of Central Asian, China, Persia, and Mongolia which is a bonus. And finally, the book has many wonderful pictures and illustrations throughout the book.

In the modern international the assembly of Buddhism and Islam is normally imagined as one in every of violent war of words. certainly, the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 appeared not just to reenact the notorious Muslim destruction of Nalanda monastery within the 13th century but in addition to reaffirm the stereotypes of Buddhism as a calm, rational. philosophy and Islam as an inherently violent and irrational faith.

Its timeframe extends from the prehistoric to the contemporary, its geographic scope ranges from the Urals and the Caucasus to the Pacific. A particular focus of the series is the Silk Road in all of its ramifications: religion, art, music, medicine, science, trade, and so forth. Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road. Penn u n IV e r s IT y of p e n n sy L V a n ia p r e ss p h ila D e L p h ia, o xfo rd.

His approach to this issue is informed, balanced, and insightful. He understands that it is important to recognize the diversity within both religions, and that their encounters were not clashes between monolithic belief systems. This groundbreaking book covers Inner Asia from the eighth century through the Mongol empire and to the end of the Qing dynasty in the late nineteenth century. By exploring the meetings between Buddhists and Muslims along the Silk Road from Iran to China over more than a millennium, Johan Elverskog reveals that this long encounter was actually one of profound cross-cultural exchange in which two religious traditions were not only enriched but transformed in many ways.

Encounters with Asia). Book Description: In the contemporary world the meeting of Buddhism and Islam is most often imagined as one of violent confrontation. Indeed, the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 seemed not only to reenact the infamous Muslim destruction of Nalanda monastery in the thirteenth century but also to reaffirm the stereotypes of Buddhism as a peaceful, rational philosophy and Islam as an inherently violent and irrational religion.

University of pennsylvania press. p. c. Encounters with Asia. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8122-4237-9 (hardcover : alk. paper). 3. Islam-Silk Road-History.

This groundbreaking book covers Inner Asia from the eighth century through the Mongol empire and to the end of the Qing dynasty in the late nineteenth century.

Personal Name: Elverskog, Johan. Publication, Distribution, et. Philadelphia Encounters with Asia. Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references and index. Uniform Title: Encounters with Asia. Rubrics: Islam Relations Buddhism Silk Road History.

series Encounters with Asia. In the contemporary world the meeting of Buddhism and Islam is most often imagined as one of violent confrontation.

Series: Encounters with Asia. Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Winner of the 2011 Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion

In the contemporary world the meeting of Buddhism and Islam is most often imagined as one of violent confrontation. Indeed, the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 seemed not only to reenact the infamous Muslim destruction of Nalanda monastery in the thirteenth century but also to reaffirm the stereotypes of Buddhism as a peaceful, rational philosophy and Islam as an inherently violent and irrational religion. But if Buddhist-Muslim history was simply repeated instances of Muslim militants attacking representations of the Buddha, how had the Bamiyan Buddha statues survived thirteen hundred years of Muslim rule?

Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road demonstrates that the history of Buddhist-Muslim interaction is much richer and more complex than many assume. This groundbreaking book covers Inner Asia from the eighth century through the Mongol empire and to the end of the Qing dynasty in the late nineteenth century. By exploring the meetings between Buddhists and Muslims along the Silk Road from Iran to China over more than a millennium, Johan Elverskog reveals that this long encounter was actually one of profound cross-cultural exchange in which two religious traditions were not only enriched but transformed in many ways.

Reviews: 7
Malaris
Elverskog’s Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road (2010) examines the interaction of Buddhism and Islam, beginning in the ninth century c.e. and continuing through until the approximate end of the Qing dynasty. Elverskog examines how a constitutive other played a crucial role in the formation of religious identities used to legitimate political regimes, both during periods of relative economic and political isolation,and during period of sustained contact between the Buddhist and Muslim worlds.
One of the fundamental points argued by Elverskog is that theological developments cannot be understood in isolation from the political and economic contexts in which they take place. He is particularly concerned with the interrelationship between religious and economic practices, and he addresses the theme of religious violence within this context. In one section of the book, Elverskog examines how the ideology of jihad was deployed during a period of increasing fragmentation of the Mongol empire as a response to economic and political changes. Jihad, Elverskog argues, underwent a fundamental change after the end of the Arab conquests. Whereas jihad had once motivated conquest, and a desire to actively bring about the final victory of Islam in the immediate historical moment, after the end of the Arab conquests, the theory of jihad had been re-conceptualized as a struggle internal to Islam, rather than a battle against external infidels. In the period after the collapse of the Mongol empire (a term which Elverskog deploys with several important qualifications), the rhetoric of jihad was deployed in the Jochid and Il-Khanid struggle over the financial resources of northern Iran. Elverskog demonstrates that in the space of two years, a rhetoric of Mongol unity came to be replaced by one of jihad, focused on the religious differences between the Golden Horde and the Jochids. Elverskog’s point is that Muslim identity came to trump Mongol identity only in the struggle over economic resources.
Underwriting Elverskog’s work is an argument against essentialist notions of religious identity. Although Elverskog does not engage directly with theoretical literature on identity, they both make historical arguments that demonstrate that groups – whether conceived of as religious or ethnic – are not bounded, discrete objects in the natural world, but processes that emerge within the contexts of specific political and economic action.
Usanner
Johan Elverskog is a scholar specializing both in Islamic and Buddhist Studies so this book couldn’t be more definitive in its treatment of the interactions between Islam and Buddhism. What this book does is finally fill the gap of books that clearly explain the 1000+ years of interaction, co-existence, struggle, and understanding between Islam and Buddhism. Because its subject matter, the book also details the history of Central Asian, China, Persia, and Mongolia which is a bonus. And finally, the book has many wonderful pictures and illustrations throughout the book. What I found unfortunate and upsetting was the reviewers here and their Islamophobic and racist attacks on Muslims and Islam. They obviously didn’t read beyond a few pages in the introduction. The author debunks the myth that Islam destroyed Buddhism in Central Asia by citing it was religious infighting and political disasters that lead to its demise not Islam per se. The book undoubtedly challenges the Western lie that Buddhism was purely a victim while Islam the evil oppressors but the one stars review reveal the racism and bigotry by some ignorant people.
Tuliancel
Elverskog has a great writing style; he keeps it interesting by using different phrases ("the pork and salami belt" stands out) and it's just colloquial enough to make it easy to read. The subject matter gets incredibly deep and very specific, however - I'm reading it for a class on the silk road during which we have discussed both Buddhism and Islam in different contexts and have a general understand of Eurasian history, and it is still way too detailed for me. Anyone just generally interested in the subjects should definitely pick a different book; I would only recommend this to those who either are researching the topics in-depth or are already incredibly knowledgeable about both religions and Mongolian and Indian history.

Elverskog also strays from his topics often in order to flesh out all of the aforementioned details, histories, and writers - the chapter 'Halal', for example, only actually discusses anything directly related to the reception of and the politics surrounding halal for maybe 20% of its 33 pages.

tl;dr only read it for historical or religious research purposes.
Visonima
Good scholarly treatment of the encounter of the two religions. Well written and thorough.