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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The Jewish community in Egypt was extremely diverse. This was particularly true in southwest Asia, given the presence there of Palestine and of the significant Jewish population in Babylonia: Cama Oriental Institute 391—63, esp. But over time, the tendency was toward a union of the outlook and berkdy of off state and the Zoroastrian hierarchy.

Enviado por Jubi flag Denunciar. The majority of Sasanian Christians followed what came to be identified as the Nestorian position, one distinct from the Chalcedonian and hostile to the Monophysite.

The two shared the ambition of harnessing the power of the state to their respective religions. Much recent scholarship has tended to minimize the gap in the late antique Near East separating Hellenized cities from the non-Greek Syriac, for instance, or Coptic countryside, and has stressed the extent to which Hellenism penetrated all layers of society and provided a common cultural vernacular. Princeton University Press,61—2.

And not only are the mainlands full of Jewish colonies but also the most highly esteemed of the islands Euboea, Cyprus and Crete. Princeton University Press, — Modrzejewski, The Jews of Egypt: But even more important was the attitude of the Roman state.

The dominant factor in the religious turmoil of late antiquity was the rise of Christianity, and the competition between Christianity and paganism was largely of Nerkey manufacture. Their authority was based, not on descent, but on the claim that they possessed and transmitted an oral law, parallel to the written law, which they traced jonwthan to Moses.

There are parallels between its organization and relation to the state and those of the Mesopotamian Jews, parallels which assume a special importance when viewed from the vantage point of the later Islamic period. Those traditions and the expectations they encouraged may have shaped the particular form of Coptic Christianity: Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic.


This fueled sectarian competition, especially between Nestorians and Monophysites. Their frustration and anger with the imperial church had a profound impact on the Christian identity of those who professed a Monophysite creed. Newman Press,56—7; cf. Many aspects of Islam now considered fundamental took some time to develop, or to settle into their familiar forms.

The Formation of Islam (Jonathan Berkey) – book review

The adherents of the religions of late antiquity — or at least those adherents who took their religion seriously — increasingly associated their faith with a truth which applied to all the world, and not just to a particular people or place. Cambridge University Press,—; R. Further east, Iran borders on the culturally and religiously diverse world of India, and even apart from any prehistoric connections between the Indo-European settlers of the two regions, commercial and strategic imperatives drew them together, particularly under the Sasanians, who cultivated mercantile links to the sub-continent.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. The dimensions of that conflict are not entirely clear, but it resulted in the eclipse of the office of the exilarch by the end of the Sasanian period, the rabbis, led by the geonim, emerging as both authoritative interpreters of the law and representatives of the Jewish community.

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. Cyril Mango and Roger Scott Oxford: Two general trends among the religions of the end of the classical and the late antique worlds deserve special mention.

The religions of late antiquity 25 community, foreshadowing the situation in the Islamic Middle Ages. In time, however, it was Karter who prevailed: This leaves open, furthermore, the analytically separate issue of religious syncretism. Some rabbis remained warmly disposed to proselytization.

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

Conscience and History in a World Civilization, in 3 volumes Chicago: But by the fourth century, the cultural and probably the demographic center of Judaism lay to the east, in Mesopotamia. Sources for Biblical Study, no. The Formation of Islam. Berkey Limited formatiin – A permanent Jewish presence 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.


The flexibility and syncretistic potential of Mediterranean paganism are well known, and need no comment here. Arising against the back- ground of injustice, inequality, and social dislocation, they pointedly jonwthan to 6 Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion, trans. And Monophysite frustrations did not dissipate quickly. Lf conquests of the Muslim Arabs, who in the seventh century burst into the Fertile Crescent from the remote and inhospitable desert peninsula to the south, represent simply one more example of far older historical patterns.

Despite the imprecision of the formwtion, historians fall back on it, inevitably if reluctantly, to identify the mass of inter-connected religious traditions and cults which emerged from the ancient world and which found themselves in competition with the oc self-conscious communities of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and, later, Muslims. Of course, no pre-modern society reached anything close to the levels of urbanization in our industrial and post-industrial world, and it is worth remembering at the outset that many of the jonafhan developments described in this book reached the ninety percent or more of the population which was rural in attenuated and problematic form.

Dodds, Pagan and Christian in an Age of Anxiety: Christians shared with Jews an underlying aversion to a number of 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.

Jonathan Berkey

And he surveys the ascetic and mystical strands of Islam. But such errancies aside, Zoroastrian doctrine affirmed the union tye kingship and religion, and so enjoined universal obedience to the sacralized monarch. From the beginning, however, we should bear two caveats in mind. The Christological controversies which plagued Roman Christianity also had an impact in the Sasanian world.

In both tenor and substance, Judaism differed profoundly from the Zoroastrianism which grew more closely identified with the Sasanian state.