Afanasii Nikitin: An Orthodox Russian’s Spiritual Voyage in the Dar al-Islam, 1468–1475
Mary Jane Maxwell
Abstract: Recent scholarship on premodern religious conversion emphasizes the political, social, and economic incentives for the mass conversion of whole societies. Such investigations tend to neglect individual accounts that typically offer a personal and spiritual explanation for conversion. The travel account of Afanasii Nikitin, a Russian merchant who ventured through Persia and India from 1468 to 1475, presents an opportunity to examine the spiritual considerations that influenced one individual’s experience. Nikitin’s narrative is significant because it brings focus to secular and spiritual motivations for conversion.
Paying for the Privilege: The Management of Public Order and Religious Pluralism in Two Early Modern Societies
Charles H. Parker
Abstract: A cross-cultural analysis of the management of religious pluralism in the early modern era can serve to contextualize and relativize our understanding of toleration in the Western world. To that end, this article compares policies and practices employed by governments in the Protestant Dutch Republic concerning Roman Catholics with those used by Sunni Ottoman authorities toward Christians, Jews, and Shi’ites in Arabic-speaking provinces. Despite important differences in approach, authorities in both societies managed their pluralistic environments by marginalizing minorities in various ways. Their practice served to protect the public religious order while also according minorities the privilege of private worship.
Diplomats and Poets: “Power and Perceptions” in American Encounters with Japan, 1860
Abstract: America’s encounter with Japan took place not only in Japan from 1854 onward but also in the United States itself, as signaled by the visit of a Japanese embassy to the American east and west coasts during the summer of 1860—a trip that Walt Whitman famously profiled in his poem “A Broadway Pageant.” This article discusses the contexts for this encounter of civilizations on American soil by examining the events of the visit itself and Whitman’s responses to it. In doing so, the article comments on American perceptions of Japan and also analyzes the power relationships at work in the encounter.
Elizabeth Mancke and Carole Shammas, eds. The Creation of the British Atlantic World
Reviewed by Edward E. Andrews
John C. Weaver. The Great Land Rush and the Making of the Modern World, 1650–1900
Reviewed by Sumner J. La Croix
Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton, eds. Bodies in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History
Reviewed by Rochona Majumdar
Yuri Slezkine. The Jewish Century
Reviewed by ChaeRan Y. Freeze
Roger Chickering, Stig Förster, and Bernd Greiner, eds. A World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937–1945
Reviewed by Jeremy Black