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 state began to interfere in the practice of Jewish law, subjecting Jews to Roman law in matters such as marriage and inheritance, thereby undermining the juridical foundations of Jewish identity and the autonomy which the Jews had enjoyed under pagan Is,am.

The assault on Judaism aimed at its bedrock: This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve.

Confessions which exclude others are a necessary ingredient of a world of distinct religious identities and of competing faiths. And he describes common patterns in social and political organisation, the legal system, and the transmission of religious knowledge. The God of Israel was known throughout the Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds, thanks to the widespread dispersal of his worshipers. Polytheistic religious systems by their very nature acknowledge a multiplicity of paths to truth, or salvation, or whatever is the goal of the religious enterprise.

There was a long period of maturation and the formation of a distinct religious identity was “the culmination of the longer-term process by which the Arabs of the peninsula were incorporated into the dominant social and cultural patterns of the Near East”. Yale University Press,55— By the third century it was well established and organized, and began to attract the attention of the Zoroastrian priesthood which was growing closer to the Sasanian state.

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. Kavad sought to undermine the purity of lineage, and thus the status and power of the nobility, by insisting upon universal access to women; while Mazdak led a peasant revolt which demanded universal access too, or at least the radical redistribution of, both women and wealth.


Who was vouchsafed the epiphany of that godhead who gives oracles and makes known future events, if not the most famous of the pagans? The poem is the Dionysiaca of Nonnos of Panopolis, trans.

The Formation of Islam

It was to such problems, made worse by the per- formtion shifting character of urban life, that many of the new religions addressed themselves. The religions of late antiquity 23 the doctrine at Ephesus was Cyril; both Athanasius and Cyril were patriarchs of Alexandria. Berkey writes of the mystical tradition which came to be known as Sufism, which came into conflict with Muslim political authorities of some ulama. The cultures produced in this region, and in those territories around its periphery including Anatolia, the peninsula of Arabia, and Iskam as far as the Oxus River which played such critical roles in its historical development, mingled productively if not always entirely freely.

Brill,and the still serviceable work of H. Remember me on this computer. Bberkey distinctive Zoroastrian faith was beginning to emerge in late antiquity, but the process was not complete, even by the time of the Arab invasions. In the first place, the existence of regional and trans-regional trading networks discouraged cultural and religious parochialism.

Islam’s Arabic origins had given it the Arabic language as an orthodoxy, but there was the split between Shia and Sunni identities and memories, and “different views of the nature and locus of religious authority. Berkey includes a general outline of the political history of the Near East, but focuses on the tensions between religion and political authority, with the fragmentation of the latter and the presence of “alien” mostly Turkish military regimes. In andJews who attempted to convert Christians were declared subject to capital punishment.

Morony, Iraq after the Muslim Conquest Princeton: Popular religion, often involving syncretic elements and the veneration of individuals as well as islaam ideas, posed a broader threat to the authority of the ulama. The emphasis on conversion suggests once again the growing importance to the men and women of late antiquity formatiom formal expressions of religious identity.


So, for example, a treaty with the Roman empire in provided that Christians were to be left alone, allowed to worship formatin and construct churches. The efforts of both men failed. Here as elsewhere, those formally con- verted to Christianity may have, more or less secretly, preserved their ancient temples and altars, which they tormation then frequent at night, and there under the cover of darkness replay their pre-Christian rites.

The organized pagan cults were the first to feel the impact of this identification of church and state, but increasingly the Jews, too, felt its onerous ofrmation. Religion and Society in the Near East, — The Jews of Mesopotamia, for example, endeared themselves to Bfrkey II —79 by their refusal to cooperate with the Roman emperor Julian during his invasion of the Sasanian Empire.

Intellectuality and interpretation — what Berkey calls religious knowledge ‘ilm — was a part of the development of Islam. On the ov hand, its failure was not immediately apparent, even to the Islamic conquerors of the Near East in the seventh and eighth centuries.

Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? Princeton University Press,61—2.

In Mesopotamia in the early seventh century, the sister-in-law of a Christian deacon sought the assistance of pagan sorcerers to attract his attention. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch around the turn of the first century, composed letters condemning, not Jewish Christians, but Gentile Christians who adopted Jewish practices.

The Formation of Islam by Jonathan P. Berkey – PDF Drive

Help Center Find new research papers in: Or of California Press,46—60; P. He describes Islam as having developed across generations, and he writes of various religious traditions having had an influence on Islam. Click here to sign up. They were, for example, by and large not required to participate in the imperial cult.