Interactions between islamicate and indic societies in South and South-East Asia : comparative perspectives
Organized by CASE and Fabrizio Speziale, Hélène Njoto, Aditia Gunawan
📅 November 4th - June 2nd , 13h00-16h00
📍Vieille-Charité Centre de la Vieille-Charité, salle B, 2 rue de la Charité 13002 Marseille
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.