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Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century
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 ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 2nd 2000 by Palgrave Macmillan
(first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 237)
I first read this book for a course on the History of the Silk Road, and have just re-read it for a course on Global Asia. The "premodern globalization networks" which spanned centuries, even BCE, are explored and explained, especially from the viewpoint of religions spreading and disappearing across Asia from the Nile to the Pacific. This is a very scholarly book, and therefore a slow read. But it IS fascinating. I'll never remember all the people, places, and dates, but just learning of the fl ...more
Richard Foltz has written a very brief, but a very readable, very helpful introduction to a comparative study of the history of trade between Europe and Far-East Asia and the history of religion in Central Asia. In a mere 150 pages, he surveys a thousand years of history and seven religions: Judaism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity, Manichaeism, Shamanism, and Islam. Foltz puts forward a plausible theory to account for the relative successes and failures of those religions as ea ...more
The Silk Road never really existed per se--more exactly, there were a number of roads, even seaborne routes, that carried traders and their cargoes between the East and West. The traders carried their religions with them, many of them finding refuges after being cast out of their homelands, such as Zoroastrianism (which survives among the Parsis of India), Nestorian Christianity, Manichaeism, and Central Asian Judiasm. Some of these religious ideas even managed to convert local kingdoms along th ...more
This book presents a very balanced account from what I have studied of the Silk Road. While the latter half of the book was outside my time frame for reference source material; I never the less read it all. It was fascinating, and the first half of the book should be quite a gold mine for my area of research.