Interactions between islamicate and indic societies in South and South-East Asia : comparative perspectives
Programme 2023-2024du 9 novembre 2023 au 16 mai 2024
Centre de la Vieille-Charité, salle B, 2 rue de la Charité 13002 Marseille
Responsables : Fabrizio Speziale, Hélène Njoto, Aditia Gunawan
jeudi 9 novembre 2023, 11:00-14:00, salle B
jeudi 14 mars 2024, 11:00-14:00, salle B
jeudi 11 avril 2024, 11:00-14:00, salle B
jeudi 16 mai 2024, 11:00-14:00, salle B
This seminar aims to explore new perspectives over the interactions among Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures and societies on a transregional scale during late medieval and modern periods. Recent scholarship has provided fresh perspectives on the contacts between Buddhist and Muslim environments in the Arabic culture of the early Abbasid period and in Medieval Central Asia, as well as on the exchanges between Persianate and Hindu cultures in South Asia. On the other hand, the study of such phenomena on a transregional perspective remains largely neglected. In this seminar, we look at South and South East Asia as a key comparative case for a clearer understanding of such phenomena during late medieval and modern periods. These interactions were mostly contemporary to one another: Muslim sultanates were established in South Asia from the 13th century and in South East Asia from the 15th century. From this period onwards, it in South and South East Asia that the most consistent interaction between Muslims and groups professing Indic religions takes place on a global scale. Despite the political hegemony in South Asia, Muslims remained a minority in a Hindu environment, except on the Western and Eastern borders, where Muslim political hegemony in South East Asia was accompanied by a higher level of Islamization in countries such as Malaysia and in large parts of Indonesia. Although we explore Muslim and Hindu as broad categories to compare, we suggest to avoid looking at them as permanent and essentialist entities, but to see them rather as socio-intellectual phenomena, where boundaries and intersections between ideas and groups of scholars could be negotiated and renegotiated to apply to specific and regional settings. We aim to look at the intersectional spaces between those boundaries and to see how they could become either institutionalized or informal settings of knowledge and practice, transmitted by scholars.
The lectures of this seminar present a series of studies related to social, intellectual, religious and artistic interactions on a comparative perspective. Lectures will look at how such interactions were formed, transmitted and appropriated. How was knowledge translated and how did it lead to the creation and use of new lexical and conceptual meanings? How did translation and interactions between groups of scholars produce new forms of knowledge and how was it defined and perceived? What was the role of different social settings such as courtly culture and Sufi environment in developing and transmitting these forms of knowledge? How did the different roles played by the contacts with the Arabic and Persian worlds shape local Islam and its interactions with Hindu and Buddhist environments? How did interactions generate critical and opposite reactions among Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist scholars? What are the forms of resilience of such phenomena in contemporary South and South East Asia? How are such forms of knowledge to be placed in the intellectual and transregional history of Muslim and Hindu societies?