Religions of the Silk Road: Premodern Patterns of Globalization 2nd Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0230621251
ISBN-10: 0230621252
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This brief but tightly packed book is a wonderful counterweight to romanticized notions of the so-called Silk Road . . . Foltz masterfully deals with disparate histories from one point of the compass to its seeming opposite, while weaving a wonderfully lucid story of merchants, pilgrims, and missionaries."--The Journal of Asian History
 
"Professor Foltz excels at concise explanations of the development of the many religions scattered throughout the central Asian area of the Silk Road . . . Throughout this excellent book Professor Foltz makes clear the importance of trade and cultural exchanges in the unfolding of history."--Journal of World History
 
"Foltz takes us on an instructive journey through time and space, revealing the fluidity of barriers, geographical and otherwise, on the historical trail and bypaths of the 'Silk Road,' which stretches from China in the East and across Central Asia to the shores of the Mediterranean in the West."--History: Reviews of New Books
 
". . . an absolute gem . . . well researched and well written, it brings together a huge amount of information in an attractive package."--Jerry H. Bentley, Editor, Journal of World History
 
"This was an extraordinary book when it first came out a decade ago; it is an even more impressive work in its revised second edition. What makes Richard Foltz's Religions of the Silk Road so unusual and valuable is that, despite its concise, compressed form and highly readable style, it is packed with an astonishing wealth of fascinating information based on a judicious combination of primary sources and secondary literature. For someone who wishes to learn about the transmission of religious culture along the Silk Road during the past two millennia -- including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, Judaism, and Islam -- there can be no more convenient and illuminating guide than this extraordinary volume."--Victor H. Mair, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, University of Pennsylvania
 
"To read this fascinating book is to journey through time, to ride those intriguing stretches of overland trails from Europe to Asia known collectively as the 'Silk Road.' There strands of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all intertwined and sometimes converged, making for a time eastern Central Asia the most multicultural region on the planet. Foltz brings to life this amazing history in an authoritative and engrossing way, and entices us into this wondrous early era of globalized religion."--Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara; Editor of the Oxford Handbook of Global Religion; President of the American Academy of Religion
 
". . . an excellent text to use in a course on 'Eastern' religions, or on the historical-social-economic-religious development of that part of the world from the eastern Mediterranean across the Eurasian steppe through to China. . . . Foltz writes with a very deft balance and a very even-handed presentation of many different historical periods, geographical circumscriptions, and religious traditions."--Eastern Christian Books Blog

About the Author

Richard Foltz is Professor of Religion at Concordia University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition (May 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230621252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230621251
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Foltz (b.1961) is a cultural historian specializing in the Iranian world. He has also worked as a musician, film critic, and travel writer. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught at Brown, Columbia, and the University of Florida. He is currently Director of the Centre for Iranian Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. His work has appeared in over a dozen languages.

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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Chapters on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Used this book as one of many required reads for a World History class. This book is excellent in illustrating a vast variety of religions including Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, etc, along with their relationships with each other and their various influences. The author does a great job explaining every angle of each religion, what affected them, where their roots were, where they spread, and what caused the declines of those that have less significance today. This is easily the most enjoyable read of all of the books my class had to cover.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Nice to see an another edition of Foltz's book as well as a quote from my review in the Journal of Asian Studies when I first reviewed it years ago. Great book for the general reader as well as for world history and just about any class dealing with Eurasia and/or cultural and religious studies. ~ David Kalivas
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MaryMR on January 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, a very comprehensive overview of the variety of religions and cultural interactions along the Silk Road. Note that it is a revision of a book by the same author, with the same title but different cover photo, published in 2000.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Kenney on November 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Foltz has a way with words, and can cast a spell that will leave you pondering for days. This is a fabulous little book which is at home with all the religions that slipped along the silk road: Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, Islam, and is able to blend them in a way that the silk road itself did. Crisp, authoritative, easy to read: a jewel.
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Both this and "Spirituality in the Land of the Noble", by Richard Foltz, are excellent depictions of the origins of the major world religions and the cultures associated with them. These two books are very readable and give an image of the millennia long history of Asian civilization, and of the interactions (mostly via Persia/Iran) that enriched European history. It is enlightening to realize that the Jewish people would not have survived to be where they are now if it weren't for Persian King Cyrus, who freed the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. And that archeological finds in what is now western China include images that are clearly Persian/Greek from an era when those civilizations penetrated to China. And that Chinese Buddhist monks traveled to India in the early years CE (AD) to study the earliest Buddhist scriptures. Or that for many centuries Christianity was common in Central Asia, but was almost entirely versions of Christianity contemned as heretical (e.g Nestorian) by the Roman Church Most of us don't know about these backs & forths via the Silk Road. Foltz has given us two very world-enlarging books.
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