Author: urbrel

Reclaiming Karbala: Nation, Islam and Literature of the Bengali Muslims (Routledge, 2023)

The new book by Epsita Halder, former fellow of the ‘Religion and Urbanity’ group, is titled ‘Reclaiming Karbala: Nation, Islam and Literature of the Bengali Muslims’. It was published in 2023 and studies the emergence and formation of a viable Muslim identity in Bengal over the late-19th century through the 1940s. Beginning with an explanation of significance of the martyrdom of Hazrat Muhammad’s grandson Husayn in the battle of Karbala (680 CE) for the Muslims, this book explores how this particular historical episode was recurrently reclaimed and reinterpreted by the Bangla-speaking ulama and Muslim literati to define what it meant to be Muslim in colonial Bengal.

Call for Applications: Fellowships 2025-2026

The Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences/ Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe “Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations“ currently invites applications for research fellowships (3-6 months) in the period of 01.04.2025 to 30.09.2026.

Woad and Indigo: A Story of Two Cities, Two Continents and Decolonisation

Our former fellow Shail Mayaram on the two colours blue: Having lived with indigo for some four decades in India, I delighted in Erfurt’s own blue colour, called woad. Woad is a very distinct blue, as in the napkin that graced my table of my IBZ (the University’s International Guest House) flat, a Christmas gift from my friend, the KFG Fellow, Raminder Kaur.

Subjective and Objective Urbanity?

Mariia Orobinska, a former fellow with us in Erfurt, approaches the concept of urbanity from the angle of paradigmatic analysis in linguistics. It establishes the relationship between subjective and objective aspects of urbanity, which is viewed as a unique feature of a given place and characterized through “charm”, “atmosphere”, and “aesthetics”.

Epsita Halder awarded prize for “Reclaiming Karbala”

Our fellow Dr Epsita Halder, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University (Kolkata), was awarded a prize by the Indian History Congress at its latest session at Kakatiya University in Waragal for her monograph “Reclaiming Karbala – Nation, Islam and Literature of the Bengali Muslisms”

Hanafi Law and Urbanization in Mughal India

Hanafi law, one of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence, which was widely practiced in the Ottoman Empire, was also the imperial legal system of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857) in South Asia. Hanafi law governed property rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike in the rural and the urban spheres of the Mughal Empire. Unfortunately, research on Hanafi law in Mughal India, in its theoretical and practical perspectives, remains virtually inexistant in current historiography. In this blogpost, I sketch the salient features of the relation between law and Mughal urban practices.

Emotional Urban Apes – A Different Take on Religion and Urbanity

At the core of the research group Religion and Urbanity at the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt lies a keen interest in the ascription of value to different life forms relating to city and civic life, that is urbanity. Yet such valorisations do not necessarily presuppose one’s physical presence in a city. One may live a perfectly happy life in a villa rustica at a safe distance from interactions with the ‘masses’, but nevertheless – and presumably for that very reason – attributing urbanity to one’s own lifestyle by assuring oneself that true civil life is not found within the city, but either outside it or in the outskirts of it at the Sans souci.

Remembering Professor Rangachari Champakalakshmi (1932-2024)

On the occaision of the passing away of prof Champakalashmi we would like to share the condolence note published by her colleagues at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharal Nehru University in New Delhi. She was one of the finest and leading historians of early and medieval India, a passionate and committed teacher, and a friend to many.

Religious Ambivalences: Podcasts II

Part two of recordings of the introductory comments by participants of the 2023 “Religious Ambivalences” conference, organised by Elisa Iori and Jörg Rüpke in November 2023 in Erfurt.

Going West: Migrating Personae and Construction of the Self in Rabbinic Culture

A discussion of an example chosen from the series of readings concerned with the reception of Babylonian immigrants in the domain of the Palestinian rabbis. The example is taken from the chapter in which I discuss the Palestinian rabbis’ use of the figure of the Babylonian Other in shaping their collective Self. Those examples deal with the mockery of the Babylonian newcomers. This story is a final anecdote in the tragicomic trilogy of encounters between Babylonian immigrants and the Galilee’s inhabitants.

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search