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Comparative Perspectives from History

Edited by A. C. S. Peacock

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Examines Islamisation as both a cultural and religious phenomenon

The spread of Islam and the process of Islamisation (meaning both conversion to Islam and the adoption of Muslim culture) is explored in the twenty-four chapters of this volume. Taking a comparative perspective, both the historical trajectory of Islamisation and the methodological problems in its study are addressed, with coverage moving from Africa to China and from the seventh century to the start of the colonial period in 1800.

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Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Comparative Perspectives on Islamisation, A.C.S. Peacock

Conversion and Islamisation: Theoretical approaches

  • Global Patterns of Ruler Conversion to Islam and the Logic of Empirical Religiosity, Alan Strathern
  • Conversion out of Personal Principle: ʿAli b. Rabban al-Tabari (d. c. 860) and ʿAbdallah al-Tarjuman (d. c. 1430), Two Converts from Christianity to Islam, David Thomas
  • The Conversion Curve Revisited, Richard W. Bulliet

The early Islamic and Medieval Middle East

  • What did Conversion to Islam mean in Seventh-Century Arabia?, Harry Munt
  • Zoroastrian Fire Temples and the Islamisation of Sacred Space in Early Islamic Iran, Andrew D. Magnusson
  • ‘There is no god but God’: Islamisation and Religious Code Switching, eighth to tenth centuries, Anna Chrysostomides
  • Islamisation in Medieval Anatolia, A.C.S. Peacock
  • Islamisation in the Southern Levant after the End of Frankish Rule: Some General Considerations and a Short Case Study, Reuven Amitai

The Muslim West

  • Conversion of the Berbers to Islam/Islamisation of the Berbers, Michael Brett
  • The Islamisation of al-Andalus: Recent Studies and Debates, Maribel Fierro

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • The Oromo and the Historical Process of Islamisation in Ethiopia, Marco Demichelis
  • The Archaeology of Islamisation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Timothy Insoll

The Balkans

  • The Islamisation of Ottoman Bosnia: Myths and Matters, Sanja Kadrić
  • From Shahāda to ‘Aqīda: Conversion to Islam, Catechisation, and Sunnitisation in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Rumeli, Tijana Krstić

Central Asia

  • Islamisation on the Iranian Periphery: Nasir-i Khusraw and Ismailism in Badakhshan, Daniel Beben
  • Khwaja Ahmad Yasavi as an Islamising Saint: Rethinking the Role of Sufis in the Islamisation of the Turks of Central Asia, Devin DeWeese
  • The Role of the Domestic Sphere in the Islamisation of the Mongols, Bruno De Nicola

South Asia

  • Reconsidering ‘Conversion to Islam’ in Indian History, Richard M. Eaton
  • Civilising the Savage: Myth, History, and Persianisation in the Early Delhi Courts of South Asia, Blain Auer

Southeast Asia and the Far East

  • China and the Rise of Islam on Java, Alexander Wain
  • The Story of Yusuf and Indonesia’s Islamisation: A Work of Literature Plus, E.P. Wiering
  • Persian Kings, Arab conquerors, and Malay Islam: Comparative perspectives on the place of Muslim epics in the Islamisation of the Chams, Philipp Bruckmayer
  • Islamisation and Sinicisation: Inversions, Reversions and Alternate Versions of Islam in China, James D. Frankel


About the Author

A.C.S. Peacock is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic History at the University of St Andrews, and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. His previous publications include The Great Seljuk Empire (2015) and Early Seljuq History (2010).


'An important landmark in the field, and one that should become a standard point of reference for Islamic studies scholarship for many years to come.'

- R. Michael Feener, The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Journal of Islamic Studies


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