Islam and Tibet – Interactions along the Musk Routes

Akasoy, Anna; Burnett, Charles and Yoeli-Tlalim, Ronit, eds. 2010. Islam and Tibet – Interactions along the Musk Routes. London: Ashgate. ISBN 9780754669562 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

The first encounters between the Islamic world and Tibet took place in the course of the expansion of the Abbasid Empire in the eighth century. Military and political contacts went along with an increasing interest in the other side. Cultural exchanges and the transmission of knowledge were facilitated by a trading network, with musk constituting one of the main trading goods from the Himalayas, largely through India. From the thirteenth century onwards the spread of the Mongol Empire from the Western borders of Europe through Central Asia to China facilitated further exchanges. The significance of these interactions has been long ignored in scholarship.
This volume brings together new studies by an interdisciplinary group of international scholars. They explore for the first time the multi-layered contacts between the Islamic world, Central Asia and the Himalayas from the eighth century until the present day in a variety of fields, including geography, cartography, art history, history of science and education, literature, hagiography, archaeology, and anthropology.

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Edited Book

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Contents: Preface; Islam and Tibet: cultural interactions – an introduction, Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim; Tibet in Islamic geography and cartography, Anna Akasoy; The Bactrian background of the Barmakids, Kevin van Bladel; Iran to Tibet, Asadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani; Greek and Islamic medicines' historical contact with Tibet, Dan Martin; Tibetan musk and medieval Arab perfumery, Anya King; Central Asian Buddhist sources of early scholasticism in medieval Tibet, Islam and Western Europe, Christopher Beckwith; Notes on the religions in the Mongol empire, Peter Zieme; Tibetans, Mongols and the fusion of Eurasian cultures, Paul Buell; Three rock-cut cave sites in Iran and their Ilkhanid Buddhist aspects reconsidered, Arezou Azad; The Muslim Queen of the Himalayas: princess exchanges in Baltistan and Ladakh, Georgios Halkias; Portuguese missionaries and their first encounter with Muslims in Tibet, Marc Gaborieau; So close to Samarkand, Lhasa: Sufi hagiographies, founder myths and sacred space in Tibetan Islam, Alexandre Papas; Between legend and reality: about the 'conversion' to Islam of 2 prominent Lamaists in the 17th-18th centuries, Thierry Zarcone; Ritual theory across the Buddhist-Muslim divide in late imperial China, Johan Elverskog; An early19th-century Kashmiri Muslim trader in Tiber, John Bray; Do all the Muslims of Tibet belong to the Hui nationality?, Diana Altner; Greater Ladakh and the mobilization of tradition in the contemporary Baltistan movement, Jan Magnusson; Index.


Tibet; Islam; central Asia; Mongol Empire; Ilkhans; Iranian Buddhism; Tibetan muslims; Baltistan; Hui; Greater Ladakh; Islamic Geography; Barmakids; musk; Arab perfumery; scholasticism; Portuguese missionaries; global trade

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Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2010 08:54

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 10:39


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