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Hartung, Jan-Peter (2007) 'Wider die Schmach. Eine historisch-anthropologische Untersuchung von "Beleidigung" in einigen muslimischen Kontexten. [Against Shame. A Historico-Anthropological Examination of "Insult" in Selected Muslim Contexts].' In: Conermann, Stephan and von Hees, S., (eds.), Islamwissenschaft als Kulturwissenschaft. I: Historische Anthropologie. Schenefeld: EB-Verlag, pp. 107-37.

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The article contributes to the current methodological debate in Islamic Studies in German, as to what extent approaches from other academic disciplines can be made fruitful for issues that can be considered as belonging to the field of Islamic Studies. Here, the approach of historical anthropology is considered an appropriate way to deal with the question of (diplomatic) insult in early modernity and, thus, cast a new light on the use of even highly standardized materials, such as imperial chronicles. The examples the article deals with originate on the one hand from the diplomatic relations between the Mamluks and the early Safawids, later between the Safawids and the Mughals, and, finally, between the successors of the Safawids and the later Mughals. The prime example revolves around a public philosophical debate at the Safawid court and the attempt of the Mughals to expunge the humiliation that resulted from the defeat of the Indians in the said debate by commissioning a concise philosophical treatise from a renowned scholar. The article draws a number of conclusions: first, the approach of historical anthropology is a very useful one for this and similar questions in Islamic Studies, albeit the different cultural contexts demand a careful consideration of categories developed for these issues in the European medieval and early modern context. Second, the dissimilarity of the context requires a modification and even extension of these categories. Finally, the material basis of such investigations is a problematic one and needs further research on the issue of (diplomatic) insult in Muslim societies.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
ISBN: 9783936912128
Date Deposited: 06 May 2008 09:28

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