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  • 1.
    Blomkvist, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Hasla völl: En analys utifrån det fornskandinaviska begreppet sidhr2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Blomkvist, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    The Coming of Religion: Legitimation of Power on Gotland During the Iron and Middle Ages2009In: The Reception of Medieval Europe in the Baltic Sea Region. The 12th Visby Symposium on Historical Sciences, Gorland: Gotland University Press , 2009, Vol. XIIChapter in book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Claesson, Urban
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, History.
    Olof Ekman (1639–1713) – An Ordinary Swedish Pastor as a Pioneer for Pietism: Perspectives on Writing Ecclesiastical Biographies in the Tension Between Local and International Contexts2017In: Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Biographies: Research, Results, and Reading / [ed] Anders Jarlert, Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien , 2017, 1, p. 54-61Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Texten problematiserar hur man inom ämnet kyrkohistoria kan möta problem vad gäller en historisk aktörs kontextualisering. Särskilt fokus ligger på skillnaden mellan lokal och internationell kontextualisering.

  • 4.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Religious Studies.
    A Structuralist Reading of the Karbala Drama2007Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper I will argue that the theoretical and methodological apparatus of the French structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss, with good results can be applied to much of early Islamic historiography. I will suggest that when this method is applied to the story of the death of Husayn b. `Alī at Karbalā’ in 680, one can deduce that the function of the character of Husayn in the text is that of a “mediator” in structuralist terms. This means that he acts both to keep polar oppositions apart, and that he allows for a bridging from one opposite to the other.

  • 5.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Al-Mukhtār and the Aesthetics of Persuasion2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The first Shiʿi leader with true political power – although it was limited in space and time – after the death of ʿAli b. Abī Ṭālib was al-Mukhtār b. Abī ʿUbayd (d. 67/687). In this paper, I will argue that one reason why he succeeded in his political ambitions was that he legitimized his endeavor by deferring to ʿAli. In doing this he set a precedent for all future Shiʿi leadership. Al-Mukhtār gained authority by convincing his followers about his function as mediator between the people and the deceased ʿAli, who was still supposed to be alive and active in one way or another by many Shiʿis. As a tool of analysis I use the notion of religious aesthetics as it has been developed by Birgit Meyer and others. Meyer regards religion as a practice of mediation between the temporal and the perceived transcendental worlds, a mediation that is performed by appealing to all human senses through various media. The person in control of these media has the power to distribute and withhold religious sensations generated in the devotees; what Meyer calls “the aesthetics of persuasion”. In the paper, I will investigate three instruments of mediation used by al-Mukhtār: a living human being, a religio-political action, and an artefact. The first is his claim to act on behalf of ʿAli’s son Ibn al-Ḥanafiyya, whom he called al-mahdī, “the rightly guided”; the second, his call to revenge for ʿAli’s son al-Ḥusayn; and the third, his claim that he was in possession of an ʿAlid relic, a chair that had belonged to ʿAli. I will briefly argue that the accounts of these three instruments most probably reflect a historical reality. Of these three, in particular the designation of a mahdī was a feature that became influential in shaping Shiʿite patterns of authority in the centuries to follow.

  • 6.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Religious Studies.
    An attempt at structural analysis of the Karbala drama according to al-Tabari2007In: Al-Tabari's History: Interpretations and Challenges / [ed] Rydving, Håkan, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007, p. 25-55Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Religious Studies.
    Berätta om Husayns död så att jag tror att jag var där2011In: Perspektiv på islam: En vänbok till Christer Hedin / [ed] Olsson, Susanne; Sorgenfrei, Simon, Stockholm: Dialogos , 2011, p. 23-28Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    I artikeln behandlas nödvändigheten av att ta i beaktande de litterära och retoriska grepp som används i den tidiga islamiska historiografin för att rätt förstå den. Jag visar där vilka problem som kan uppstå om man läser den historiografiska litteraturen från denna tid alltför okritiskt.

  • 8.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Dating versions of the Karbala' Story2017In: "Shii Studies: State of the Art." International Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ (December 7‐9, 2017), 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite its importance for Shīʿites and other Muslims, the story of the death of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbala in 61/680 is clearly under-researched. So, for example, except for Borrut (2015) hardly any of the previous studies made have compared different versions of the story and attempted to set a relative date to them. Such a study is necessary in order to map the development of the Karbalāʾ story and the image of Ḥusayn in the emergence of Shīʿite ideology. In this paper I will discuss the relative date of two important versions of the Karbala story related by Ṭabarī: one, relatively short and lacking in detail, is ascribed to Imam al-Bāqir (d. 114/732); the other, much longer and more detailed, is compiled by Abū Mikhnaf (d. 157/774). Studies in other fields, such as “historical Jesus-studies,” have shown that brevity and lack of details is not a certain criterion for old age of a version of a story; in order to ascertain the relative age of two versions, detailed studies have to be made and conclusions drawn from case to case. By comparing three passages in the two versions of the Karbalāʾ story: Ḥusayn’s encounter with al-Ḥurr; Ḥusayn’s attempt to negotiate with the enemy; and the killing of Ḥusayn’s baby boy, I hope to demonstrate that the version ascribed to al-Bāqir is indeed the older of the two, although its authorship cannot be established with certainty. I will also share some thoughts about the historicity of the events described in the three passages analyzed.

  • 9.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Emerging Patterns of Authority in Early Shiʿism: Mukhtar’s Use of the Aesthetics of Persuasion2019In: Shii Studies Review, ISSN 2468-2470, Vol. 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The story of the Shiʿite rebel leader Mukhtar is investigated in the article from the perspective of the development of authority patterns in early Shiʿism. The notion of religious aesthetics as developed by Birgit Meyer is used as an analytical tool, and it is argued that Mukhtar used several aesthetic forms to convince his followers of his agency as mediator between the people and the deceased ʿAli b. Abi Talib. The study investigates three aesthetic instruments used by Mukhtar: his claim to act on behalf of ʿAli’s son Ibn al-Hanafiyya, whom he called al-mahdī, ‘the rightly guided’; his call to revenge for the killing of ʿAli’s son Husayn; and his exhibiting of a chair supposedly the property of ʿAli. Of these three, the designation of a Mahdi became influential in shaping Shiʿite patterns of authority in the centuries to follow.

  • 10.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Mukhtār and the Mahdī: a critical inquiry into the sources2018In: DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur, ISSN 1501-9934, no 1, p. 138-157Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of al-mahdī is one of the most important theological ideas in Shiʿism. Its literary meaning is ‘the rightly guided’, and this is how it was probably used in the first decades after the Prophet Muhammad. In Twelver Shiʿism it has come to denote the hidden Imam, who will one day return to redeem his followers and restore justice on earth, and in that sense it is akin to the Christian idea of the Messiah. Among scholars of early Islam there is near consensus on the view that the transition of meaning, from its literal meaning ‘the rightly guided’ to an eschatological redeemer, occurred with the Shiʿite rebel leader al-Mukhtār b. Abī ʿUbayd (d. 686) when he applied it to Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, the son of ʿAlī. In the present study I will contest that view. I will hold that, while it can be established from the sources that Mukhtār probably spoke of Ibn al-Hanafiyya as al-mahdī, they do not support his use of this title in a messianic sense. This eschatological meaning can only be verified soon after his death.

  • 11.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Myth, ritual, and the early development of Shiite identity2018In: Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, ISSN 2212-9421, Vol. 6, no 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The developing myth about the events at Karbala, as well as the image of al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī and the cult connected with him, were important factors in the shaping of early Shiite identity. In this article, I argue that some of the earliest traces of this process are found in the account of the Tawwābūn, or Penitents, events which took place in the years immediately following the death of al-Ḥusayn at Karbala in 60 AH/680 CE. Important elements of this story originate at least as early as the late first century AH/early eighth century CE. In the story we see the image of al-Ḥusayn in process of transformation from that of someone merely human to someone ascribed traits that transcend the human. In the same process, the story of his death at Karbala is in process of being elevated from a tragic story to a myth with its associated rituals.

  • 12.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Myth, ritual and the early development of Shīʿite identity2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The story of the killing of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbalāʾ is of course one of the most important narratives in Shīʿite Islam. In this paper, a very early phase in the development of this story into a Shīʿite myth will be discussed. It will be argued that in the story of the Tawwābūn (the Penitents) we can see some of the mechanisms of this process at work.

    The paper will begin with a brief discussion of the concept of myth which leads up to a stipulated definition of myth: the term will be used to connote a narrative that is foundational to the world view and identity of a group of people. I will argue that the story of the Tawwābūn, at least the parts that are relevant in this context, date back to the beginning of the 2nd/8th century if not earlier. Finally, I will maintain that, in this early story we see how pre-Islamic stories are re-interpreted, and old rituals are filled with new meaning in accordance with the Karbalāʾ event and the Tawwābūn’s feeling of guilt concerning Ḥusayn’s fate. The story of the Tawwābūn thus testifies to the growing importance of the Karbalāʾ drama and the beginning of its development into a myth in the sense mentioned above.

  • 13.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    New Meanings to Old Rituals: The Emergence of Mourning Rituals in Shiʿite Islam2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper will discuss the emergence of Shiʿite mourning rituals around the grave of Husayn b. ʿAli. After the killing of Husayn at Karbala’ in 61/680, a number of men in Kufa feel deep regret for their neglect to come to the help of the grand­son of the Prophet. They gather and discuss how they can best make penitence for this crime. Eventually, they decide to take to arms and go against the Umayyad army – to kill those that killed Husayn, or be killed them­selves in the attempt to find revenge for him. Thus, they are called the Penitents (Ar. Tawwābūn). On their way to the battlefield they stop at Husayn’s tomb at Karbala’, dedicat­ing themselves to remorseful prayer, crying and wailing over the fate of Husayn and their own sin.

    When the Penitents perform certain ritual acts, such as weeping and wailing over the death of Husayn, visiting his grave, asking for God’s mercy upon him on the Day of Judgment, demand blood revenge for him etc., they enter into already existing rituals in the pre-Islamic Arab and early Muslim context. That is, they enter into rituals that were traditionally performed at the death of a person. What is new is that the rituals that the Penitents perform have partially received a new content. As described, the rituals are performed out of loyalty towards Husayn and the family of the Prophet. The lack of loyalty in connection with the death of Husayn is conceived of as a sin that has to be atoned. Blood revenge thus be­comes not only a pure action of revenge to restore honor, but equally an expression for true religious conversion and penitence.

    Humphrey and Laidlaw argue that ritual actions in themselves are not bearers of meaning, but that they are filled with mean­ing by the performer. Accord­ing to them, ritual actions are apprehensible, i.e. they can be, and should be filled with meaning, and the people who perform them try to do so within the context where the ritual is performed. The story of the Penitents is a clear example of mourning rituals as actions that survive from earlier times, but that are now filled with new meaning when they are performed in a new and developing move­ment with a different ideology. In later Shiʿism, these rituals are elaborated and become a main tenet of this form of Islam.

  • 14.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    The Date of the Story of the Tawwābūn2017In: Studia Islamica, ISSN 0585-5292, E-ISSN 1958-5705, Vol. 112, no 2, p. 175-205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The movement of the Tawwābūn (“Penitents”) emerged after the killing of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbalāʾ in 61/680. Although several scholars have held that the story of the Tawwābūn is indeed old, it has been little studied. In this article an analysis is made of a central section of the story: the account about the Tawwābūn’s visit at Ḥusayn’s grave. The three versions of this account is analysed by means of tradition- and content critical methods. It is concluded that behind the three versions lie two earlier reports that date back at least to the end of the 1st century AH/the beginning of the 8th century CE. This story is, hence, of importance for the study of the early development of Shīʿite ideas and rituals.

  • 15.
    Hylén, Torsten
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    The hand of God is over their hands (Q. 48:10): on the notion of covenant in al-Ṭabarī’s account of Karbalāʾ2016In: Journal of Qur'anic Studies, ISSN 1465-3591, E-ISSN 1755-1730, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 58-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is an analysis of the story of the killing of Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī at Karbalāʾ in 61/680, as it is presented by Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923). The main argument is that the notion of the divine covenant, which permeates the Qur’an, constitutes a framework through which al-Ṭabarī views this event. The Qur’anic idea of the covenant is read in structural/thematic continuity with the Hebrew Bible account of the covenant between Yahweh and the Hebrew people, which has, in turn, been traced back in its basic form to Late Bronze Era treaties between rulers and their vassals.

     

    The present study focusses on four speeches ascribed to Ḥusayn during the encounter he and his group had with the vanguard of the Kūfan army led by al-Ḥurr. These are analysed in accordance with their use of Qur’anic covenant vocabulary. They are also categorised within the broader framework of the eight standard characteristics of Ancient West Asian and Biblical covenants, as presented by George Mendenhall and Gary Herion, which have recently been developed in a Qur’anic context by Rosalind Ward Gwynne. This article argues that al-Ṭabarī’s Karbalāʾ narrative presents the pact of loyalty to Ḥusayn as a clear extension of the divine covenant.

  • 16.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Ancient Mesopotamian Religion (Women/Feminine in)2018In: Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History / [ed] Susan de Gaia, ABC-CLIO, 2018, p. 58-61Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Elisabeth Hesselblads världsbild: Gud, Jesus,andra människor, familjen, fosterlandet och kvinnligheten2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Ninlil2018In: Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History / [ed] Susan de Gaia, ABC-CLIO, 2018, p. 63-65Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Ninḫursaĝa Mother Goddess2018In: Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History / [ed] Susan de Gaia, ABC-CLIO, 2018, p. 62-63Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    The Birth-giving Earth and the Hero: a mythological theme in Mesopotamian literature2015In: Dynamics of Religion: Past and Present , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    The world of the Sumerian mother goddess: an interpretation of her myths2014Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The present study is an interpretation of the two myths copied in the Old Babylonian period in which the Sumerian mother goddess is one of the main actors. The first myth is commonly called “Enki and Ninḫursaĝa”, and the second “Enki and Ninmaḫ”. The theoretical point of departure is that myths have society as their referents, i.e. they are “talking about” society, and that this is done in an ideological way. This study aims at investigating on the one hand which contexts in the Mesopotamian society each section of the myths refers to, and on the other hand which ideological aspects that the myths express in terms of power relations.

    The myths are contextualized in relation to their historical and social setting. If the myth for example deals with working men, male work in the area during the relevant period is discussed. The same method of contextualization is used regarding marriage, geographical points of reference and so on. Also constellations of mythical ideas are contextualized, through comparison with similar constellations in other Mesopotamian myths. Besides the method of contextualization, the power relations in the myths are investigated. According to this latter method, the categories at issue, their ranking, as well as their changed ranking, are noted.

    The topics of the myths are issues important for the kingship and the country, such as irrigation, trade, health and healing, birth, collective work, artisanry and rivalry. All these aspects are used in order to express what the power relations between the goddess Ninḫursaĝa/Ninmaḫ and the god Enki look like. The relations are negotiated and recalibrated, which leads to the goddess getting a lowered status. Part of the negotiations and recalibrations is gender behavior, which is related to historical developments in society. The present work points to the function of these myths as tools of recalibrating not only deities, but also men and women in society.

  • 22.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Var den forntida mesopotamiska prästinnan Enheduana feminist?2017In: Feminism och jämställdhetssträvanden i religioner i världen / [ed] Bodil Liljefors Persson, Nils-Åke Tidman, Malmö: Föreningen lärare i religionskunskap , 2017, p. 55-74Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Rodin, Therese
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Writers and Poets, Ancient Mesopotamia2018In: Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History / [ed] Susan de Gaia, ABC-CLIO, 2018, p. 81-83Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Åslund, Eva
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.
    Lekmännens roll i framtidens Svenska kyrka: Fyra prästers bedömningar och önskningar för framtiden2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    I Svenska kyrkan har prästerna i nära femhundra år varit församlingens företrädare inför Gud. Hur uppfattar prästen lekmännens roll i den församling han representerar? I uppsatsen Lekmännens roll i framtidens Svenska Kyrka är mitt syfte är att ta reda på hur några präster i dagens Svenska kyrka föreställer sig framtidens roll för lekmännen.

    Prästerna har fritt talat utifrån perspektivet lekmännens roll i församlingen förr och nu och i framtiden och om sina önskningar för framtiden. Det framkom att prästerna har en likartad uppfattning av att ämbetsmännen skötte verksamheten förr. De nämner prästfrun, syföreningarna och körerna som undantag. I dag strävar församlingarna efter större delaktighet från lekmännens sida. Prästerna upplevde att de anställda ibland utgör ett hinder för att uppnå detta. Ekonomi och medlemsantal påverkar inte verksamheten än. Erfarenheter från andra evangelisk-lutherska kyrkor inverkar på hur man ser på lekmännens roll i framtiden. Prästerna uttrycker att gudstjänster med aktiva lekmän, kommer att öka. En präst tror att kyrkobyggnaderna kommer att skötas av lekmän och att kyrkorna mer kommer att användas som en helig plats för privata andakter oavsett religion. I tolkningen av begreppet det allmänna prästadömet betydelse för synen på lekmännens roll ger alla fyra olika svar. Tre präster har en framtidsvision av en aktiv levande kyrka i samhället.

    Min slutsats är att prästerna föreställer sig att lekmannaengagemanget både i gudstjänst och i övrig verksamhet kommer att öka i framtiden. Därmed är syftet med denna undersökning uppnått.

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