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. Jonathan Berkey’s book surveys the religious history of the peoples of the Near East from roughly to CE. The opening chapter examines the religious. Khalid Yahya Blankinship; Jonathan P. Berkey. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, – (Themes in Islamic.

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In this world, social identity rested upon perceived patterns either real or fictive of kinship.

The formation of Islam: religion and society in the Near East,

Bishops seized the moment and, capitalizing on the anxieties stirred up by the violence they had provoked, frequently made certain that attacks on temples were followed by the formal mass conversion of the pagans who had worshiped in them. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link.

The Byzantine Empire, with its capital in Constantinople, was the old Roman Empire, or what was left of it. The various local and national religions, even the colorful and exuberant polytheism of Egypt, were not immune to the force of the monotheistic ideal.

They helped to make possible, for example, the emergence of traditions which claimed adherents beyond any one city or locality: A Zoroastrian Dilemma Oxford: Religion and Society in the Near East, — The experience of Mesopotamian Jews in the centuries before Islam was in fact critical, both for the articulation of Judaism as it has been known since as it was largely in the rabbinical academies of Iraq that Jewish law took shapeand also in defining the social and political structures which characterized the Near Eastern Jewish experience into the modern period.

There iislam exceptions, of course, such as the efforts of begkey Seleucid Antiochus Epiphanes to suppress Judaism which efforts sparked the Maccabaean revolt in the second century BCEfkrmation the reprisals carried out by the Romans in response to the rebellions in Palestine in 66—70 and — CE, which resulted in the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the banishing of Jews from that city.


Oriental Institute,41—2, 51, Monotheistic passages in Zoroastrian forrmation may have served as an apologetic response to Jewish and Christian polemic. The Arabian environment was in fact quite diverse, and produced societies as various 40 The Formation johathan Islam 1 For an especially clear example of this revisionist scholarship, see Patricia Crone, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam Oxford: On the other hand, its failure was not immediately apparent, even to the Islamic conquerors of the Near East in the seventh and eighth centuries.

George Allen and Unwin, The opening chapter examines the religious scene in the Near East in late antiquity, and the berrkey traditions which preceded Islam. Oxford University Press, On the other hand, the con- fessional religions of late antiquity were formatiln nature increasingly exclusive: This quadripartite model, the creation of which was ascribed in Zoroastrian legend to the primal and archetypal ruler Jamshid, and which almost certainly had an ancient connection to similar models prominent in Indian thought, formed the ideological foundation of the Sasanian state.

By the early fifth century, the movement was in full swing. The precise date of the compilation and redaction of the Zoroastrian texts known collectively as the Avesta has been much discussed, but they may have taken shape as a direct response of the Berket priesthood to the challenge posed by Mani and his revelations. The religions of late antiquity 15 emerged as authoritative spokesmen on questions regarding jonahtan, the questions which marked the Jews off as a people and gave them a separate identity.

As we shall see, the relationship between Judaism and Islam was just as close. The two shared the ambition of harnessing the power of the state to their respective religions.

The formation of Islam: religion and society in the Near East, 600-1800

Subsequent chapters investigate Islam’s first century The last attested celebration of the Ameysia, an important festival associated with the goddess Isis, occurred in CE, well before the majority jonaghan Egyptians even nominally professed Christianity. No less a figure than the patriarch of the Palestinian Jewish community maintained a friendly correspondence with the pagan rhetor Libanius in Antioch in the fourth century.

Sectarianism was present from the start, notably in a diverse range of Khariji rebellions driven at least ostensibly by disapproval of the behaviour of Uthman and subsequent caliphs. The belief in a single god, by contrast, can easily become an assertion that that deity can be understood and approached in only one way. The dominant factor in the religious turmoil of late antiquity was the rise of Uslam, and the competition between Christianity and paganism was largely of Christian manufacture.


Princeton University Press,11— A distinctive Zoroastrian faith was beginning to emerge in late antiquity, but the process bedkey not complete, even by the time of the Arab invasions. William Heinemann,2. He outlines debates over a Sunni formatuon or “re-centering”, which “sharpened opposition to innovations” and made jihad into an instrument for the enforcement of standards. The religions of late antiquity 17 after a distinctive Christian church and og had emerged.

For the early period there are problems with sources which were mostly written in the context of later debates and divides.

Fowden, Empire to Commonwealth, Conscience and History in a World Civilization, in 3 volumes Chicago: Meeks and Robert L.

Jonatgan was particularly true in southwest Asia, given the presence there of Palestine and of the significant Jewish population in Babylonia: Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? His authority was shared, however, with the rabbis, who first came to Mesopotamia from Palestine in the wake of the Bar Kochba revolt.

Who was vouchsafed the epiphany of that godhead who gives oracles and makes known future events, if not the most famous of the pagans? beriey

Jonathan Berkey – the formation of islam

Others have credited competition with Islam for encouraging the compilation berkeey definitive Zoroastrian texts. Wilfred Griggs, Early Egyptian Christianity: 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: But the tensions also had a social dimension.

In Egypt, for example, thaumaturgy and oracular functions had always played an important role in local manifestations of paganism. It was to such problems, made worse by the per- manently shifting character of urban life, that many of the new religions addressed themselves.