Silk Road Foltz

585 Words3 Pages
In Richard Foltz book, Religions of the silk road: Premodern Patterns of Globalization, he introduces us to a trade network that runs across central Asia. This trade network is known as the Silk Road, this road is made up of many different paths predominantly moving East to West. Throughout the book we see Foltz describe the different religions, languages, and political connections among its travelers. Some of the religions seen across the silk road include Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. We see all 3 Abrahamic religions make their mark on the Silk road. Of all 3 Abrahamic faiths, Muslims left the largest mark on this network of roads with Foltz stating, “No religious tradition in history favored trade to the extent Islam did” (Foltz p. 85). Foltz writes about three major reasons for the spread of Islam along the Silk Road. The first reason has to do with politics, the second having to do with economics as the area began to see a Muslim control of commercial activity and thirdly, we see assimilation, an intake of ideas or information. The islamic religion ultimately succeeded…show more content…
Foltz states that “the expansion of a particular religions rule is not identical with the spread of faith” (Foltz 91). The Islamic faith did not originally spread through proselytization, but through economic and political power. After the 8th century, Muslims controlled almost all of the trans-Asian trade (Foltz 91) Due to the growing religion of Islam, people began to convert for not only spiritual reasons, but economic reasons as well. Being Muslim at the time would have brought new advantages, such as being part of the “ruling group”, and better commercial activity. One might convert to Islam to better his commercial activity. For example by accepting Islamic norms a merchant would have better interactions with Muslim officials and Islamic laws governing the city (Foltz
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