Download Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road by Johan Elverskog PDF

By Johan Elverskog

In the modern international the assembly of Buddhism and Islam is frequently imagined as one among violent disagreement. 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 was once easily repeated cases 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 background of Buddhist-Muslim interplay is way richer and extra advanced than many suppose. This groundbreaking e-book covers internal Asia from the 8th century in the course of the Mongol empire and to the tip of the Qing dynasty within the overdue 19th century. by way of exploring the conferences among Buddhists and Muslims alongside the Silk street from Iran to China over greater than a millennium, Johan Elverskog finds that this lengthy stumble upon was once truly one in every of profound cross-cultural alternate within which spiritual traditions weren't merely enriched yet remodeled in lots of ways.

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At this time not only did local Hindus, such as the famous traders of Gujarat, challenge the Buddhists but Muslims who had direct access to the resources and institutions of the Islamic world also challenged them. Thus, as many of the factors that had made Buddhism such a dynamic force in the eco­ nomic world of South Asia came to be usurped by those of other traditions the influence of the Dharma began to wane in India. Map 6. Three Kingdoms. 42 Chapter One The weakening of Buddhist economic power, however, occurred not only in India as Hindu groups “ successfully represented themselves as the successors to the original Buddhist initiatives,” 95 but also in Central Asia.

Of course, how this shift in the economic regime was actually to disrupt local practices was an issue little discussed. Nevertheless, what is interesting about this story is how it plays upon a religio-economic para­ digm. Namely, Dahir bin Chach is portrayed as a stereotypical Hindu ruler, one who does not like the city and looks down upon trade. In contradis­ tinction, Muslim rule is presented as the one that favors the world of busi­ ness. Muslims will even go to war in order to protect their financial interests.

Silk Road. 62 Yet at the same time that both trade and Buddhism were moving north, new trading networks were also developing in the south. During the third and fourth centuries c . , in tandem with the rise of the powerful Gupta dynasty in India (320-550 c . ) and the consolidation of Sassanid power in Iran, there was an expansion of maritime trade across the Indian Ocean. Trading networks thus not only moved down the Konkan coast to Sri Lanka,63 but also flourished between India and Iran with the Aksumite Empire of Ethiopia, whose control of this east-west maritime trade was to be challenged only with the subsequent rise of Islam.

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