The Safavid Dynamic Provided the Link between the Medieval and Modern periods of both the history of Iran and that of the region as a whole.
The twenty articles in the present volume are divided into six sections, entitled ‘ History and Historiography’ , ‘Sources on Safavid Society and Culture’ , ‘Culture and Patronage in the Safavid Period’ , ‘Art and Identities’ , ‘Culture, Economy and Politics in Peripheries and Centres ‘ and ‘The Spiritual Realm: Medicine, Manuscripts, Money and Movements’.
In this book, bringing together the most productive and creative scholars from the many different sub-disciplines of Safavid, as in the past two Round Tables, also encouraged the identification and promotion of items for future research and analysis. The contributions to the present volume are the work of scolars from Iran, Russia, the Continent, the UK and the US. These articles underscore the contributions of relatively newer scolars in the field from all these geographical regions the articles of Bashir, Blake, Quinn, Matthee, Newmann, Ruhrdanz, Siftgol, and Jafariyan, half of the papers included, both add significantly to the field’s knowledge and challenge some of its underlying assumptions. The contributions of Sifatgol and Jafariyan from Iran, both especially prominent among the younger Iranian scholars of the Safavid period, attest to the appearance of a new, post-war generation of scholars in Iran ready and able to succeed such of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the field in Iran as Afshar and Ishraqi, both of whose papers are also included in the present volume.
Also in kipping with the mission statement of these Round Tables, these articles reflect the effort to foster an exchange of ideas and information between scholars engaged in research across many fields and scholarly disciplines. Especially inasmuch as it was in the Safavid period that Twelver Shiism was first established in Iran and that, consequently, the key religious concepts and material infrastructure that underpin the present- day relationship between religion and the state in Iran.