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IISS Workshop. "The Mongol King, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Buddha: Inter-faith Disputations and Sacred Kingship in Medieval Iran."

Jonathan Brack, PhD candidate in history, U-M
Friday, March 25, 2016
11:30 AM-1:30 PM
1644 School of Social Work Building Map
About this workshop: We will discuss the fourth chapter of Jonathan Brack’s dissertation “Mediating Sacred Kingship: Conversion and Sovereignty in Mongol Iran.” In his dissertation, Jonathan demonstrates how Muslim perceptions of sacred kingship were shaped through inter-religious interactions at the Mongol court in 13th-14th centuries Iran (the Ilkhanate).

In chapter four, Jonathan explores how the Ilkhanid vizier Rashid al-Din (d. 1317) experimented with the classical boundaries separating prophethood and sainthood from kingship in Muslim theological thought to make room for a new rank of an exceptional, sacred and saintly Muslim kingship. The chapter focuses on the vizier’s neglected theological writings to show that Rashid al-Din appropriated and expanded the Ashʿarite theologian and exegetist Fakhr al-Din al-Razi’s (d. 1210) hierarchy of human souls to mediate between Mongol notions of sacred kingship and Islamic worldviews. Paying particular attention the vizier’s polemical anti-Buddhist works, the chapter further argues that the Ilkhanid vizier used this new Islamic theologically grounded model of sacred authority to claim to himself the exclusive position of the Mongol ruler’s intermediary in a court dominated by inter-religious, inter-confessional and inter-personal rivalries and competition.

Please RSVP to Golriz Farshi ( for reading materials
Building: School of Social Work Building
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: History, International, Middle East Studies, Muslim, Religious
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Global Islamic Studies Center, International Institute

The Global Islamic Studies Center organizes a number of public events each year such as lectures, conferences, and films, many in collaboration with other U-M units. Please use our searchable events calendar for information about upcoming programs sponsored by GISC and the Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar (IISS).