Fri 20 March 2015 | GLASS-Islam faculty roundtable | Agents in Religious Networks | Nile Green | Leiden University
On Friday 20 March, Nile Green (University of California) led the GLASS-Islam faculty roundtable entitled: "Agents in Religious Networks." This roundtable was organised by LUCIS in cooperation with Global Interactions (GI).
In this faculty roundtable the role of agents in the establishment of religious networks in different historical, geographical and religious dimensions was discussed. Central were Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.
Questions that were raised:
- Who are these agents that spread religion? And what motives do they have?
- Do they operate individually or as part of an institutionalized network?
- What motives do they offer those they approach with their message? Do they offer any economic, political, social (mobility) or ideological interests?
- How are their activities related to other activities, such as trade, politics and humanitarian activities?
- What is the relation between ‘sole’ missionaries and the spread of religion through association, and how are these related? In other words: how do missionaries - who move around to bring people to their religion - relate to those bringing people into the religion by association and connections?
Next to Nile Green, three other researchers were invited to deliver a 10 minute statement to address the questions above from their own field of experience and expertise. Also a larger group of researchers from within and outside of Leiden were invited to take part in the discussion.
- Prof.dr. Rijk van Dijk
- Dr. Berthe Jansen
- Prof.dr. Raymond Corbey
Professor Petra Sijpesteijn (director of LUCIS and professor of Arabic Language and Culture, Leiden University).
After beginning his career as a historian of Islamic India and Pakistan, Nile Green has traced networks of Muslim activity that connect Afghanistan, Iran, the Indian Ocean, Islamic Africa and Central Asia, as well as Muslim diasporas as far apart as Europe, America and Japan. His writings span the domains of global, social, religious, cultural and literary history.
In recent years, Professor Green has focused on positioning Islam and Muslims in global history through such topics as intellectual and technological interchange between Asia and Europe; Muslim global travel writings; the transnational genealogy of Afghan modernism; and the world history of 'Islamic' printing. He has also used the networks forged by Sufi brotherhoods to understand pre-modern and early modern mechanisms of Muslim expansion from the Middle East to China and beyond.