Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century / Edition 1

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Overview

Ever since the label was coined in the late 19th century, the idea of the Silk Road has captivated the Western imagination with images of fabled cities and exotic peoples. Religions of the Silk Road looks behind the romantic notions of the colonial era and tells the story of how cultural traditions, especially in the form of religious ideas, accompanied merchants and their goods along the overland Asian trade routes in pre-modern times. As early as three thousand years ago Hebraic and Iranian religious ideas and practices traveled eastwards in this way, to be followed centuries later by the great missionary traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, and Islam. But the Silk Road was more than just a conduit along which these religions hitched rides East; it was a formative and transformative rite of passage, and no religion emerged unchanged at the end of the jourbaney.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This brief but tightly packed book is a wonderful counterweight to romanticized notions of the so-called Silk Road . . . Foltz masterfully deals with disparate histories from one point of the compass to its seeming opposite, while weaving a wonderfully lucid story of merchants, pilgrims, and missionaries."
The Jourbanal of Asian History

"Professor Foltz excels at concise explanations of the development of the many religions scattered throughout the central Asian area of the Silk Road . . . Throughout this excellent book Professor Foltz makes clear the importance of trade and cultural exchanges in the unfolding of history."
Jourbanal of World History

"Foltz takes us on an instructive jourbaney through time and space, revealing the fluidity of barriers, geographical and otherwise, on the historical trail and bypaths of the 'Silk Road,' which stretches from China in the East and across Central Asia to the shores of the Mediterranean in the West."
History: Reviews of New Books
". . . an absolute gem . . . well researched and well written, it brings together a huge amount of information in an attractive package."
—Jerry H. Bentley, Editor, Jourbanal of World History

Booknews
Foltz, who holds a PhD in history from Harvard and has taught at Brown, Columbia, and Gettysburgh College, looks behind the romantic notions of the colonial era and tells the story of how cultural traditions, especially in the form of religious ideas, accompanied merchants and their goods along the overland Asian trade routes in pre-modern times. In telling how Hebraic and Iranian religious ideas and practices traveled eastward (to be followed later by the great missionary traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, and Islam), he reveals how the silk Road was a formative and transformative rite of passage. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312233389
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 9.63 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard C. Foltz holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University and has taught at Brown, Columbia, and Gettysburg College. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

The Silk Road and Its Travelers
• Religion and Trade in Ancient Eurasia
• Buddhism and the Silk Road
• A Refuge of Heretics: Nestorians and Manichaeans on the Silk Road
• The Islamization of the Silk Road
• Ecumenical Mischief
• A Melting Pot No More

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