Historical Thinking in Intercultural Perspective: Iranian Narratives on the Mongol Era

Anja Pistor-Hatam


This paper will apply Jörn Rüsen's "intercultural comparison of historical thinking" to modern Iranian historiography on the Mongol period (C13th-14th). In order to appreciate the differences in the historical narratives under examination, Jan Assman's "history of meaning" with its "fictions of coherence" shall be referred to. As the analysis of modern Iranian historiography on the Mongol era demonstrates, it is only under the assumption that these historical narratives are to be understood in the context of a relativistic history of meaning that it is at all possible to accept large parts of their content as plausible.


Historical Thinking; Fictions of Coherence; Historical Narratives; Mongol Era; Iran

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17192/meta.2014.3.2030

Anja Pistor-Hatam is Professor of Islamic Studies at Kiel University. Her main research interests focus on intellectual history, Twelver Shiite Islam and its holy sites, and modernisation discourses in Iran and the Ottoman Empire (C19th). Professor Pistor-Hatam has recently published a book on Iranian historiography regarding the Mongol Era. She is currently working on the question of “religious minorities” in the Islamic Republic of Iran. email: pistor-hatam@islam.uni-kiel.de