Pandita, Bichara and Moro historical diplomacy


Announcing the next seminar in the online Treaties & Empire Seminar Series:

Isaac Donoso (University of Alicante):
Pandita, Bichara and Moro historical diplomacy

Friday 9 February 2024, 15:15−17:00 (CET, UTC+1)


Diplomacy manifests its independent role in addressing issues beyond violence, relying on the power of words to resolve political relations. In border regions (thagr), words are decisive to avoid endless and unresolved conflicts. Since its origins, Islam targets a political expansion to the four corners of the ecumene, and therefore regulated a detailed international law of nations—siyar. Dār al-‘ahd or “Realm of the Pact” refers to a domain where neither Muslims rule nor jihad is enforced. Taking this in notice, the historiography of Islam in the Philippines has centered permanently in a Dār al-arb narrative, where César Majul’s concept of “Moro Wars” has generally described centuries of modern history, political and human relations. Recently more attention has been given to the Pact (‘ahd) as reality within the Philippine sultanates, the word in the form of Jawi letters and the Bichara as a way of political conduct. This presentation is a preliminary discussion to explore the role of Islamic and Adat laws in the international affairs of Sulu and Maguindanao sultanates, and to inquire about some specific elements, as the Pandita and the Bichara.     

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