Sacred Landscape in Medieval Afghanistan Revisiting the Fad=a'il-i Balkh
- ISBN 13:
- ISBN 10:
- Format: Hardcover
- Copyright: 02/14/2014
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)
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In this book, Arezou Azad provides the first in-depth study of the sacred sites and landscape of medieval Balkh, which continues to exemplify age-old sanctity in the Persian-speaking world and the eastern lands of Islam generally. Azad focuses on the five centuries from the Islamic conquests in the eighth century to just before the arrival of the Mongols in the thirteenth century, the crucial period in the emergence of Perso-Islamic historiography and Islamic legal thought. The book traces the development of 'sacred landscape', the notion that a place has a sensory meaning, as distinct from a purely topographical space. This opens up new possibilities for our understanding of Islamisation in the eastern Islamic lands, and specifically the transition from Buddhism to Islam. Azad offers a new look at the medieval local history of Balkh, the Fada'il-i Balkh, and analyzes its creation of a sacred landscape for Balkh. In doing so, she provides a compelling example of how the sacredness of a place is perpetuated through narratives, irrespective of the dominant religion or religious strand of the time.