In the contemporary world the meeting of Buddhism and Islam is most often imagined as one of violent confrontation. Indeed, the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 seemed not only to reenact the infamous Muslim destruction of Nalanda monastery in the thirteenth century but also to reaffirm the stereotypes of Buddhism as a peaceful, rational philosophy and Islam as an inherently violent and irrational religion. But if Buddhist-Muslim history was simply repeated instances of Muslim militants attacking representations of the Buddha, how had the Bamiyan Buddha statues survived thirteen hundred years of Muslim rule?
Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road demonstrates that the history of Buddhist-Muslim interaction is much richer and more complex than many assume. This groundbreaking book covers Inner Asia from the eighth century through the Mongol empire and to the end of the Qing dynasty in the late nineteenth century. By exploring the meetings between Buddhists and Muslims along the Silk Road from Iran to China over more than a millennium, Johan Elverskog reveals that this long encounter was actually one of profound cross-cultural exchange in which two religious traditions were not only enriched but transformed in many ways.
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Johan Elverskog is Altshuler University Distinguished Teaching Professor and Professor of Religious Studies at SMU. He is currently a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.Review:
Winner of the 2011 Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion
The book, brilliantly moving from the interaction between economic and religious regimes to cross-cultural artistic production, succeeds in presenting a rich history ... In so doing, Elverskog has made a very important and unique contribution to the community of historians of the world and Asia.
-American Historical Review
Against stereotypes, legends, and amnesia, Johan Elverskog has successfully done his historian's duty in discussing the reality of the relationships between Buddhism and Islam in Inner Asia.
-Journal of Central Eurasian Studies
If this book consisted of nothing more than its footnotes, it would still merit more than cursory attention as a result of the masterful guide to the current state of the field of Inner Asian studies that exists therein. Luckily, Johan Elverskog has also produced a text of equal quality.
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Book Description University of Pennsylvania Pre, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110812242378