On Campus & Online | State-building, Political Thought, and the Other in Muslim Imperial Peripheries
Monday | 27.06.22
Until Tuesday | 28.06.22
Workshop | For invitees only
At the Polonsky Academy at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
At The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, Mandel Building, Room 530
How did Others (non-Muslims, non-mainstream Muslim sects, tribes, ethnic groups) contribute to the development of Muslim states and empires and conceptualize their interactions with Muslim polities? How did Muslim empires react to the presence of Others in their peripheries? And how did different schools of Islamic law and political thought conceptualize their respective Others? Drawing on the example of Yemen, where both Sunni and Shīʿa polities routinely dealt with a diverse group of Others including— and depending on the perspective—Ottomans, Zaydis, Ismailis, Jews, and tribal communities, the conveners of this workshop invite prospective participants to reassess the contribution of minority groups to the development of Muslim states and societies.
Recent scholarship demonstrates that the contribution of non-dominant groups and their participation in socio-political processes had a fundamental effect on state (trans)formation. This theme is particularly well explored in certain periods (e.g., the Christian, Jewish, and non-Arab contribution to the development of the early Islamic Empire) or in relation to certain groups (e.g., Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, and the Shīʿa in the Ottoman Empire). Building on these advances, the workshop suggests two angles for the exploration of how Sunni-dominated states and their Others interacted: through the lens of political, legal, and religious works produced by both sides, and through interactions with state institutions.
The workshop invites its participants to consider Muslim imperial peripheries as the main arena in which these intellectual and socio-political processes took place. It aims to start a comparative, multidisciplinary conversation on how interactions in the far-flung regions of Muslim empires altered Sunni normativity.
Kerstin Hünefeld (Martin Buber Society Fellow, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Ekaterina Pukhovaia (Polonsky Academy Fellow, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)