Mittwoch, 16. Mrz 2016, 16:15 - 17:45 iCal

Money and Inequality

in Indo-Islamic Intellectual Traditions

Seminarraum 3 des Instituts für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2, Eingang 2.1, 1090 Wien


Prof. Dr. Najaf Haider (Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)


“There are two hungry wolves in our society, money and status”

(Ibn Hanbal, Musnad)

Medieval Indian societies operated with a strongly held idea of hierarchy which manifested itself in different forms. The ordering of the society into unequal groups was advocated by the intellectuals of medieval India and protected mostly by the ruling classes. The present paper is about a set of intellectual opinions about hierarchy and the role of money in it. It is a study of three normative texts, viz. Fatawa i Jahandari of Ziauddin Barani (second half of the fourteenth century), Ain i Akbari of Abul Fazl (late sixteenth century) and Muiza i Jahangiri of Baqar Najm i Sani (early seventeenth century). One important question that it explores is whether these opinions were purely theoretical and inherited from past intellectual traditions or they were a commentary on contemporary social organisations. It is noteworthy that many of the ideals presented in these texts were derived from actual historical experiences, and it is possible to find not only coherence and meaning in the statements themselves but also link them up with circumstances in which they were shaping up.

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Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde


Judith Starecek
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
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