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.

Author: Nezil Nekree
Country: Vietnam
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Music
Published (Last): 24 May 2012
Pages: 47
PDF File Size: 1.2 Mb
ePub File Size: 20.36 Mb
ISBN: 746-6-53423-765-2
Downloads: 8070
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kek

A distinctive Zoroastrian faith was beginning to emerge in late antiquity, but the process was not complete, even by the time of the Arab invasions. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

It is probably best to begin by stepping behind the more sharply-delineated religious boundaries of later centuries, and formatiln that Judaism as we know it was, ionathan the other 3 Wayne A.

The Formation of Islam (Jonathan Berkey) – book review

Not only did Islam evolve in an existing religious context, but there was a long period in which influences ran in both directions: More importantly, from our perspective, the challenge had a lasting legacy on religious developments in the medieval Near East, since much of the doctrine of Mazdak reappeared among certain sectarian groups in Iran during the foramtion several centuries of the Muslim era.

So Manichaeism developed a gnostic doctrine through which knowledge of the true human con- dition, and a consequent avoidance of procreation, paved the path to final redemption. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, ; Samuel N. Similarly, they encouraged the spread begkey religious ideas from one place to another.

Jonathan Berkey

Related articles in Google Scholar. It would be misleading to suggest that local Syrian and Egyptian Christians systematically betrayed the Christian Roman state to the Arab invaders.

Across its eastern border, in the eastern half of the Fertile Crescent and in the lands beyond, lay the empire of the Sasanians, an Iranian dynasty which had come to power in the third century. Brill,95; Michael G. Her husband, naturally distraught, sought the assistance of the Christian saint. One historian has described a veritable religious war which traumatized large portions of Upper Egypt in the fifth century, where entire villages remained untouched by Christianity.

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

Like their Christian Roman counterparts, however, they might intervene in church affairs, to convene a council of Christian bishops, for example, or to secure the election of some particular candidate as catholicos. As a historical matter, it would be meaningless to say that Christianity caused the process; but that process involved formaton dialogue, fogmation most of the participants in that dialogue were Christian. For while Christ was yet in the womb, the Roman empire received its power from God as the servant of the dispensation which Christ introduced, since at that very time the accession was proclaimed of the unending line of the Augusti by whose command a census was made which embraced the whole world.


Haldon, Byzantium in the Seventh Century: The size and prestige of the Babylonian community grew at the direct expense of the Jewish community of Palestine. Dumbarton Oaks,35— Nonetheless, cities there were, cities which were frequently dominated by jnoathan and others involved in a commercial economy, and often it was in them, or in response to their needs and uncertainties, that the religious developments which survived and which seemed important to later jomathan took shape.

The social and historical significance of those controversies, however, is another matter.

Oxford University Press,—, and Louis H. For the early period there are problems with sources which were mostly written in the context of later debates and divides. Wilfred Griggs, Early Egyptian Christianity: Even if the Arabian crucible is important, what exactly does that mean? Yale University Press,55— So much is probably true of any thousand-year interval of human history, but this particular epoch was of special importance in that it saw the crystallization of jonatjan religious traditions which have survived into the modern era, and which formed the backdrop to the emergence of the new religion which traces its origins to the preaching of Muhammad in western Arabia.

Consequences of Monotheism in Late Antiquity Princeton: Brill,1. In response to the fomation precise religious identity of, for example, Christianity, fourth-century pagans such as Libanius and the Roman ofrmation Julian understood themselves to represent an alternative — an older alternative — to the new religions.

For example, a number of Jewish incan- tation bowls from Mesopotamia have survived which sought to counter-act the evil influence of demons identified as, among others, Ishtar — the name of the prominent ancient goddess of the region.

Tormation traditions and the expectations they encouraged may have shaped the particular form of Coptic Christianity: Especially to be recommended is Fred M. Scholars Press, Society of Biblical Literature: More importantly, the schism resulted in the emergence in both Egypt and Syria of rival networks of bishops, ofrmation and churches, one loyal to the Chalcedonian formulations generally supported although in varying degrees, and not without efforts to heal the breach by the emperors, another to the Monophysite creed.

This was true even of a religion such as Judaism, which, succumbing to the powerful gravitational pull of late antique Hellenism, moved beyond the this-worldly focus of its core Biblical texts. Throughout, close attention is paid to the experiences of Jews and Christians, as well as Muslims.


In the Roman Empire, as is well known, Manichaeism was a potent force, which at one point formarion a powerful attraction for St Augustine. Moreover, the intellectuals among them such as the Alexandrian Jewish philosopher Philo engaged in sustained exchange with their pagan colleagues, an exchange through which the Jews formaiton to explain and justify their traditions and their faith.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. But paganism — or more accurately, some of the paganisms of late antiquity — had moved a good distance from the religion of Homer and Ramses, and in many respects shared a good deal with the Christian and Islamic traditions which replaced it. Crossroads,—92, esp. William Heinemann,2.

Zaehner, The Teachings of the Magi London: Pagans had not always treated Christians kindly, as the many martyrs might attest. The religions of late antiquity 25 community, foreshadowing the situation in the Islamic Middle Ages.

Hellenism was a powerful cultural current, one which pulled many Jews into its wake. This leaves open, furthermore, the analytically separate issue of religious syncretism. A story from the early fifth-century Lausiac History by Palladius about a holy man named Makarios is suggestive, in part because it is so typical of accounts in late antique sources.

There were some non-Iranian converts to Zoroastrianism, even among the tribes of the Arab peninsula. The Jewish community there was old, dating back to the Achaemenid empire, but it grew substantially in late antiquity, in part because the Sasanian emperors encouraged Jewish immigration from the rival and con- siderably more hostile Roman Empire, and in part through a process of conversion among the native Aramaean population with whom the Jews shared a common vernacular.

At Edessa in Syria, one of the earliest and most important centers of eastern Christianity, a city which the pagan emperor Julian had shunned for its commitment to the Christian faith, pagan rituals and sacrifices were still practiced in the late sixth century. Berkey Limited preview – An Egyptian ap- proached a presumably pagan sorcerer to enlist his aid in attracting the attention of a woman with whom he was infatuated, or barring that, prevailing upon her husband to throw her out.

A state-of-the-art and subtle view on the complexities of Islam’s gradual development.