“This was an extraordinary book when it first came out a decade ago; it is an even more impressive work in its revised second edition. What makes Religions of the Silk Road so unusual and valuable is that, despite its concise, compressed form and highly readable style, it is packed with an astonishing wealth of fascinating information based on a judicious combination of primary sources and secondary literature. For someone who wishes to learn about the transmission of religious culture along the Silk Road during the past two millennia—including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Ncstorian Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—there can be no more convenient and illuminating guide than this extraordinary volume.”—Victor H. Mair, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, University of Pennsylvania
“To read this fascinating book is to journey through time, to ride those intriguing stretches of overland trails from Europe to Asia known collectively as the `Silk Road.’ There strands of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all intertwined and sometimes converged, making, for a time, eastern Central Asia the most multicultural region on the planet. Foltz brings to life this amazing history in an authoritative and engrossing way, and entices us into this wondrous early era of globalized religion.”—Mark Juergensmeyer, Director of Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara; editor of the Oxford Handbook of Global Religion and former president of the American Academy of Religion
Religions of the Silk Road traces the spread of religions and cultures along the trans-Eurasian trade routes over a period of more than two millennia. Indian, Iranian, Semitic, and Mediterranean ideas all followed the same trajectory through Central Asia to China and beyond, picking up additional elements and sometimes being radically transformed along the way. This age-old pattern shows how the transmission of culture and the development of economic networks have always been inextricably linked, laying a precedent for the globalizing trends seen today.
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