Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0035-869X / 0035-869X
Published by: Cambridge University Press (CUP) (10.1017)
Total articles ≅ 14,429
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Latest articles in this journal

, Victor H Mair
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Volume 27, pp 201-224; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1356186316000584

Abstract:
Through an analysis of Chinese theophoric names - a genre that emerged in the early medieval period largely under heavy Iranian-Sogdian influence - we suggest that there was a contemporary ‘black worship’ or ‘black cult’ in northern China that has since vanished. The followers of this ‘black cult’ ranged from common people living in ethnically mixed frontier communities to the ruling echelons of the Northern Dynasties. By tapping into the fragmentary pre-Islamic Iranian-Sogdian data, we link this ‘black cult’ to the now nearly forgotten ancient Iranic worship of the Avestan family of heroes centered around Sāma. This religio-cultural exchange prompts an examination of the deliberate policy by the ethnic rulers of the Northern Dynasties to attract Central Asian immigrants for political reasons, a precursor to the Semu, the Mongols’ ‘assistant conquerors’ in the Yuan dynasty.
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Volume 27, pp 181-199; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1356186316000523

Abstract:
By the beginning of the fourteenth century the court histories of the Īl-Khānate had begun to lament that ‘qarachu’ (non-royal) commanders dominated the realm. The same histories report that these qarachu were drawn from the families of the khans’ royal guardsmen (kešik). The fact that these kešik families had come to eclipse, and in some cases threaten, the power of their Chinggisid patrons suggests a much broader transformation of the Īl-Khān polity from the patrimonial government of the khan's household, which characterised the early Mongol Empire, to a quasi-feudal state, dominated by a powerful military aristocracy. The present study will elucidate how this new aristocracy supported their authority through the hereditary transmission of armies, property and, offices, which entrenched their position at the summit of Īl-Khān polity.
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Volume 27, pp 225-254; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1356186316000560

Abstract:
The disparity of human intellects dictum imposes an a priori limit of thinking and imagining that partially precludes the emergence of democratic thought in the Iranian commonsense. This paper presents three exemplary accounts of the disparity dictum in Perso-Islamicate philosophical and mystical traditions – by Ghazzali, Sadra and Molavi. The goal is to see how, despite varying verbalism, these thinkers share the view that human beings are not ultimately unified – and, accordingly, that humans cannot have equal rights to political power.
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Volume 27, pp 295-311; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1356186316000559

Abstract:
AbstractThis article first briefly examines the textual structure of the Kassapa Saṃyutta of the Pāli Saṃyutta-nikāya in conjunction with two other versions preserved in Chinese translation in a collection entitled 大迦葉相應 Dajiashe Xiangying (Skt. Mahākāśyapa Saṃyukta) in Taishō vol. 2, nos 99 and 100. Then it compares the main teachings contained in the three versions. It reveals similarities and differences in structure and doctrinal content, thus advancing the historical/critical study of early Buddhist doctrine in this area.
James Harry Morris
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Volume 27, pp 313-323; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1356186316000511

Abstract:
AbstractIn 1916 P.Y. Saeki devoted a page of his book “The Nestorian Monument in China,” to a short thought experiment which linked a Persian by the name of Li-mi-i 李密翳 who was present in Emperor Shōmu's 聖武天皇 court and whose arrival was mentioned in the Shoku Nihongi 続日本紀 with a priest named on the Nestorian Stele. Since that first suggestion, several scholars have expounded the idea that Li-mi-i and another figure who arrived alongside him, Kōho Tōchō 皇甫東朝, were Christians and/or missionaries. In this paper I assess these claims, returning to the Shoku Nihongi in order to suggest that there is a lack of data to establish them as true. I then seek to explore the origins of this theory situating it within the joint context of Japan's imperial expansion and her modernization. Whilst the latter cannot be conclusive, I hope that it may shed light on the significance of the theory which can be seen as a search to discover Japanese history, a statement of the equality between Japanese and Western histories, or an attempt to justify imperial aims in China academically.
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