By Johan Elverskog

ISBN-10: 0812242378

ISBN-13: 9780812242379

In the modern global the assembly of Buddhism and Islam is more often than not imagined as one among violent war of words. certainly, the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 appeared not just to reenact the notorious Muslim destruction of Nalanda monastery within the 13th century but in addition to reaffirm the stereotypes of Buddhism as a relaxed, rational philosophy and Islam as an inherently violent and irrational faith. but when Buddhist-Muslim heritage used to be easily repeated situations of Muslim militants attacking representations of the Buddha, how had the Bamiyan Buddha statues survived 13 hundred years of Muslim rule?

Buddhism and Islam at the Silk Road demonstrates that the historical past of Buddhist-Muslim interplay is way richer and extra advanced than many suppose. This groundbreaking publication covers internal Asia from the 8th century in the course of the Mongol empire and to the top of the Qing dynasty within the past due 19th century. through exploring the conferences among Buddhists and Muslims alongside the Silk highway from Iran to China over greater than a millennium, Johan Elverskog unearths that this lengthy stumble upon used to be truly one in every of profound cross-cultural trade during which non secular traditions weren't simply enriched yet reworked in lots of ways.

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94 Rather, the impact of Islam was economic. In particular, the incorporation of India within the explosive world of global trade made possible by the Caliphate made the situation better both eco­ nomically and politically. Thus as the Indian economy revived so too did the political structures that maintained the flow of commodities. In turn these states also used their new resources in order to finance religious insti­ tutions. In this regard only the Pala dynasty was expressly Buddhist. The other two, especially the Gurjura-Pratiharas, actively promoted Hinduization.

127 Moreover, in 871 the Caliphate completely renounced control of Sind. In turn this power vacuum was filled by the Isma‘ilis, the third branch of the Islamic community beside the Sunni and Shi‘a, who ruled Sind for the next 150 years (879-1025 c . e . ) . Moreover, being avowed enemies of the Sunni Caliphate in Baghdad the Isma‘ilis shifted the trade networks of this pivotal economic region away from the Persian Gulf toward the Red Sea. In this way they bolstered the rise not only of their Shi‘ite allies in Egypt, the Fatimid dynasty (909-1171 c .

And to a certain extent they succeeded. 54 Shortly thereafter came the Chinese and Tibetans and finally the Arabs, all culminating in the famous Battle of Talas in 751. While this historical sketch is brief it nevertheless brings to the fore the central consequence of the Kushan’s loss of the northwest and their retreat Figure 3. G an dharan Buddha, Pakistan, ca. 33). Reproduced courtesy o f The T ram m ell and M argaret Crow Collection o f Asian Art. Map 3. Kushan Empire. 30 Chapter One to the south: the removal of northwest India and Central Asia from the Indie orbit.

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Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road by Johan Elverskog

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