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.
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.
Orientalism -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Japan.
Japan -- Foreign relations -- United States.
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 1860Ņa 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