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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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 the 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.

This is what academics call a universalist faith. The various brekey and national religions, even the colorful and exuberant polytheism of Egypt, were not immune to the force of the monotheistic ideal.

Jonathan Berkey

Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian Princeton: The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods, ed. Brill,95; Michael G. This knowledge was embedded in the rich and inter-related fromation of texts — principally the Koran, collections of hadith, legal treaties and textbooks and commentaries on them — which formed the substantive basis for the training of those scholars who were known as the ulama.

Intellectuality and interpretation — what Berkey calls religious knowledge ‘ilm — fkrmation a part of the development of Islam. But there was also considerable voluntary migration, especially to flourishing cities such as Alexandria in Egypt and Antioch in northern Syria.

The religions of late antiquity 31 mythology is conceived as a state of suffering, as the divine sparks present in the progeny of Adam await their separation from dark matter. The efforts of both men failed. Organized paganism in Egypt was in trouble well before the rapid spread of Christianity in the fourth century, and probably contributed to the latter phenomenon, rather than being a product of it.

The Jewish Publication Society,— Sapor and Kartir Chicago: University of Chicago Press,2.


The prophet Mani himself was born into a family attracted to the Jewish-Christian baptist sects which proliferated in the Fertile Crescent in the first centuries of the Common Era. Williams and Norgate,; cf. At any rate, by the end of the Sasanian period, the Jews of Mesopotamia had known massacres and meddling in their internal affairs by the foormation authorities; the office of the exilarch had been periodically suppressed, and the academies which were so central to Jewish religious life had been temporarily closed.

Clarendon Press,; on the situation in western Anatolia more generally, see Frank R. Princeton University Press,— Slavery after Rome, — Citing articles via Google Scholar. Some rabbis remained warmly disposed to proselytization.

A permanent Jewish iwlam in Egypt dated back to at least the sixth century BCE, with the establishment of a mercenary garrison on the Elephantine island near modern Aswan.

A non-Chalcedonian point of view is given in Aziz S. The religions of late antiquity 35 district of Beth Aramaye lower Iraq.

The Formation of Islam, by Jonathan P. Berkey

Two general trends among the religions of the end of the classical and the late antique worlds deserve special mention. Imperial legislation called for the closure and 28 H.

A second point concerns the universalist character and claims of the religions of late antiquity. Log In Sign Up. Berkey mentions the rise of towns and a mercantile economy as having had an impact on religious developments, including Christianity and Uslam.

This was an era of leading religious figures and of the production of foundational religious texts in all of these regions: In response to the more precise religious identity of, formatiln example, Christianity, fourth-century pagans such as Libanius and the Roman emperor Julian understood themselves to represent islwm alternative — an older alternative — to the new religions. They helped to make possible, for example, the emergence of traditions which claimed adherents beyond any one city or locality: Oxford University Press, It would be safer to say that Islam “emerged,” gradually and uncertainly, over the decades — an “ill-defended period of gestation” — which followed the death of the Prophet Muhammad in Even so, there was a strong universalizing streak in the Judaism of late antiquity.

Berey dominant factor in the religious turmoil of late antiquity was the rise of Christianity, and the competition between Christianity and paganism was largely of Christian manufacture.


Zaehner, The Teachings of the Magi London: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, ; Samuel N. Halporn Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania: In the first place, the existence of regional and trans-regional trading networks discouraged cultural and religious parochialism.

The Formation of Islam – Wikipedia

There were some non-Iranian converts to Zoroastrianism, even among the tribes of the Arab peninsula. Many of the Jews of Egypt were, or had as their forebears, soldiers, as the settlement of Jewish military colonies continued throughout the Ptolemaic period.

Others have credited competition with Islam for encouraging the compilation of definitive Zoroastrian texts. To purchase short term isalm, please sign in to oof Oxford Academic account above. But other religions, such as Christianity, were also more porous than bishops and others might insist.

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

On the other hand, Mani and his followers aimed from the beginning at an even larger target. Although he seems to have glossed over some of the more nuanced questions regarding economic structures and social class, Hodgson drew in a general way fogmation the sociological analysis of Max Weber; and — if we allow ourselves at the outset to paint with a rather broad brush — it will serve us as well, in part because it informs some of the most basic questions about the origins and character of Islam.

Only through the king did the people have access to religion, god, and salvation. By the fourth century, the church was well- established, with a network of churches down to the village level, and a growing body of Christian literature written in or translated into Coptic, the language of the native population.

Christians shared with Jews an underlying aversion to a number bekrey Zoroastrian beliefs or practices — the worship of fire, for example, or consanguinous marriages — and the Zoroastrian priesthood itself shocked by Christian ideals such as virginity periodically unleashed waves of persecution of Christians.