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Islam and Asia
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Book description

Chiara Formichi explores the ways in which Islam and Asia have shaped each other's histories, societies and cultures from the seventh century to today. Challenging the assumed dominance of the Middle East in the development of Islam, Formichi argues for Asia's centrality in the development of global Islam as a religious, social and political reality. Readers learn how and why Asia is central to the history of Islam, and vice versa, considering the impact of Asia's Muslims on Islam; and how Islam became an integral part of Asia, and its influence on local conceptions of power, the sciences, arts, and bureaucracy. Grounding her argument in specific case studies, Formichi ultimately concludes that the existence of Islamized interactions across Asia have allowed for multi-directional influences on Islamic practices and interpretations throughout the Muslim world.


‘Islam and Asia: A History integrates the expansion of Islam into the millennial trajectory of Asia and its multiple histories. Islamicate cultures of Central, South, South-east, and East Asia are traced with documentary care, abetted by narrative skill, to produce the newest, best introduction to a global civilization rooted and nurtured in Asia.'

Bruce B. Lawrence - Professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus, Duke University, North Carolina

‘Accessible and original, Chiara Formichi's Islam and Asia puts the history of Muslims and Islam exactly where it belongs - in the vast area where most of the world's Muslims live. Muslims transformed Asia; and Islam here, as everywhere, was enriched and transformed as well. Enlivened by illustrations, maps, insets, and primary sources, the book is not only a delight for specialists, but an excellent if unexpected entrée for beginners curious about Islamic history.'

Barbara D. Metcalf - Professor of History Emerita, University of California, Davis

‘This is a necessary and accessible volume. Formichi offers a bird's eye view of Islam in Asia, but does not skimp on rich examples. Readers are left with an understanding of Islam in Asia, Asian Islams, and how Asia is, in fact, central to the story of Islamic histories as well as specific, concrete examples of that history and its plurality.'

Ilyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst - University of Vermont

‘Formichi here provides a wonderfully dynamic book. It is an innovative, pioneering historical survey; a well-designed, excellent textbook; and it is certainly adequate to serve as a concise reference book … It is a foundational work that points the way toward what could become a new generation of creative and urgently needed studies. Boxed key points, lists for further reading by chapter, a glossary, extensive citations and notes, and an analytic index round out this noteworthy volume.’

G. R. Thursby Source: Choice

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  • 1 - Islam across the Oxus (Seventh to Seventeenth Centuries)
    pp 10-41


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