Islam in Asia after the Mongols: Historiography and Law

Islam in Asia after the Mongols: Historiography and Law

Speaker: Guy Burak
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2020-12-10 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2020-12-10 | 21:00-22:30 (Shanghai)
2020-12-10 | 17:00-18:30 (Abu Dhabi)

The talk will examine the historiographical framework of the “post-Mongol period” in the broader context of the study of the Islamic tradition in west Asia. In particular, I will reflect on the dialectics between two historiographical (and political) trends: one emphasizes the rupture caused by the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century, while the other stresses continuity between the pre- and the post-Mongol periods. As I will show, much of the debate is about how to evaluate and define change within the Islamic tradition. I will illustrate the dynamics between the historiographical approaches by concentrating on Islamic law and political thought. 

Guy Burak is the Librarian for Middle Eastern, Islamic and Jewish Studies at NYU’s Elmer Holmes Library. He is the author of The Second Formation of Islamic Law: The Hanafi School in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He has published articles on the legal, intellectual and visual histories of the post-Mongol period. He is currently working on a monograph on the history of dynastic law (qanun/kanun).

Introduction by Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, Professor of History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies at New York University.

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To our visitors:
• RSVP may be required for this event. Please check event details
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• There is no public parking on campus
• Entrance only through the South Lobby (1555 Century Avenue) 
• Taxi card 
• Metro: Century Avenue Station, Metro Lines 2/4/6/9 Exit 6 in location B 
• Bus: Century Avenue at Pudian Road, Bus Lines 169/987

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Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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The Mongols’ Imperial Space: From Universalism to Glocalization

The Mongols’ Imperial Space: From Universalism to Glocalization

Speaker: Michal Biran
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2020-12-3 | 18:00-19:30 (Shanghai)
2020-12-3 | 5:00-6:30 (New York)
2020-12-3 | 14:00-15:30 (Abu Dhabi)

This paper seeks to explain how the Mongol imperial space was created, organized, and conceived by the Mongols and their subjects in the various realms. I stress the interplay between the Mongols’ universal vision during the heydays of Chinggis Khan and his immediate heirs, the construction of a “Chinggisid space,” and the revival of “glocal” (that is, local with global characteristic) spatial concepts in Mongol-ruled China and Iran. I conclude in assessing the impact of the Mongol Empire on the shaping of the post-Mongol imperial space.

Michal Biran (PhD HUJI 2000) is a historian of pre-modern Inner Asia, China and the Muslim world and a member of the Israeli Academy of Science and Humanities. She is the Max and Sophie Mydans Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she led the ERC-funded project “Mobility, Empire and Cross-Cultural Contacts in Mongol Eurasia,” and teaches at the Dept. of Asian Studies and the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She has published extensively on Mongol and Pre-Mongol Central Asia (10th-14th centuries), including Qara Khitai, the Qarakhanids and the Chaghadaids; the Mongol Empire; cross-cultural contacts between China, nomads, and the Islamic world; nomadic empires; conversion; and Ilkhanid Baghdad. She has authored three monographs and more than 70 articles, and has edited or co-edited eight volumes, the last out is Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia: Generals, Merchants, Intellectuals (with Jonathan Brack and Francesca Fiaschetti, University of California Press 2020) and another The Limits of Universal Rule: Eurasian Empires Compared (with Yuri Pines and Jörg Rupke. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) is due to appear in January 2021. She is currently working on two book projects and, together with Hodong Kim, is editing The Cambridge History of the Mongol Empire.

Introduction by Tansen Sen, Director of the Center for Global Asia, Professor of History, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Professor, NYU.

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To our visitors:
• RSVP may be required for this event. Please check event details
• Visitors will need to present a photo ID at the entrance
• There is no public parking on campus
• Entrance only through the South Lobby (1555 Century Avenue) 
• Taxi card 
• Metro: Century Avenue Station, Metro Lines 2/4/6/9 Exit 6 in location B 
• Bus: Century Avenue at Pudian Road, Bus Lines 169/987

#Center for Global Asia

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CONTACT US

Email: shanghai.cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

Pudong New District, Shanghai, China

© 2021 All Rights Reserved

Religious Tolerance and Inter-Religious Encounters in the Mongol Empire

Religious Tolerance and Inter-Religious Encounters in the Mongol Empire

Speaker: Jonathan Brack
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2020-11-12 | 19:00-20:30 (Shanghai)
2020-11-12 | 6:00-7:30 (New York)
2020-11-12 | 15:00-16:30 (Abu Dhabi)

Research on the Mongols’ attitudes toward the religions of the conquered people presents conflicting views. On the one hand, scholars argue that as Steppe people, the Mongols were either pragmatists or indifferent when it came to the religious practices and beliefs of their subjects, thus explaining the religious freedom they granted them and even their exemption of their subjects’ religious clergy from taxation. On the other hand, the Mongols are presented as inquisitive and curious, even high-minded, observers of the beliefs of their subjects, promoting, hosting and directly engaging in heated inter-religious debates at their courts that entailed Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Daoists.     

This presentation is divided into two parts. In the first part, we will offer a new approach to the question of the Mongols’ pluralistic attitude. We will argue that to explain the Mongols’ religious policies, we must view them as complementary to the Mongols’ own domestic mode of “empirical religiosity.” In the second part, we will turn our attention to one chief example of court-sponsored inter-religious interactions: the encounters between Buddhists and Muslims at the Ilkhanid court in Iran. We will use this example to explore the religiously competitive and dynamic arena of the court, where religious interlocutors clashed over attempts to gain the allegiance, or even conversion, of the khans. We will further ask how these encounters shaped the knowledge and perspectives of “local” religious interlocutors on their new religious competition.  

Jonathan (Yoni) Brack is Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He received his PhD in 2016 from the University of Michigan, and was a postdoctoral fellow in The Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2017-2020). He studies medieval and early modern Iran and the Mongol Empire. His research examines Muslim-Buddhist exchanges and polemics in Ilkhanid Iran, sacral kingship, and Mongol conversion to Islam. His recent and forthcoming publications include “A Mongol Mahdi in Medieval Anatolia: Reform, Rebellion, and Divine Right in the Post-Mongol Islamic World” (Journal of the American Oriental Society, 2019), and “Disenchanting Heaven: Interfaith Debate, Sacral Kingship, and Conversion to Islam in the Mongol Empire, 1260-1335 (Past & Present, forthcoming 2021). He recently co-edited, together with Michal Biran and Francesca Fiaschetti, a volume title Along the Mongol Silk Roads: Merchants, Generals, Intellectuals (University of California Press, 2020).

Introduction by Tansen Sen, Director of the Center for Global Asia, Professor of History, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Professor, NYU.

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• RSVP may be required for this event. Please check event details
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• There is no public parking on campus
• Entrance only through the South Lobby (1555 Century Avenue) 
• Taxi card 
• Metro: Century Avenue Station, Metro Lines 2/4/6/9 Exit 6 in location B 
• Bus: Century Avenue at Pudian Road, Bus Lines 169/987

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Email: shanghai.cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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© 2021 All Rights Reserved

Environmental Aspects of the Mongol Conquest

Environmental Aspects of the Mongol Conquest

Speaker: Nicola Di Cosmo
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2020-11-5 | 21:00-22:30 (Shanghai)
2020-11-5 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2020-11-5 | 17:00-18:30 (Abu Dhabi)

This lecture will address the early stages of the Mongol conquest (c. 1206-1260) from an environmental perspective.  It will focus in particular on the characteristics of the Mongol army and its requirements in relation to the lands that they invaded.  The relationship between Mongols, climate, and environment will be illustrated through several case studies.

Nicola Di Cosmo 狄宇宙  is the Henry Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study.  He holds a PhD from Indiana University, and has previously taught at Harvard University and at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). His research interests are in the history of Chinese and Inner Asian frontiers from the ancient to the modern periods, history of nomadic peoples, Manchu and Mongol history, and climate history.  His publications include Ancient China and Its Enemies, Manchu-Mongol Relations on the Eve of the Qing Conquest, and The Diary of a Manchu Soldier in Seventeenth Century China. He has edited several volumes, the last of which is Empires and Exchange in Eurasian Late Antiquity (2018).

Introduction by Tansen Sen, Director of the Center for Global Asia, Professor of History, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Professor, NYU.

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Location & Details

To our visitors:
• RSVP may be required for this event. Please check event details
• Visitors will need to present a photo ID at the entrance
• There is no public parking on campus
• Entrance only through the South Lobby (1555 Century Avenue) 
• Taxi card 
• Metro: Century Avenue Station, Metro Lines 2/4/6/9 Exit 6 in location B 
• Bus: Century Avenue at Pudian Road, Bus Lines 169/987

#Center for Global Asia

WeChat

CONTACT US

Email: shanghai.cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

Pudong New District, Shanghai, China

© 2021 All Rights Reserved