Authority and Political Culture in Shi’ism by Said Amir Arjomand

By Said Amir Arjomand

The most important subject matter of this ebook is authority in Shi`ism with specific emphasis on its institutionalization in numerous ancient sessions from the start of Shi`ism within the heart a long time to the current. half I offers new fabric on vital or ignored concerns which are on the heart of present scholarly debate, together with the elemental dating among wisdom and authority in pristine Shi`ism, points of pop culture in medieval Shi`ism, the institutionalization of non secular authority in Shi`ite Iran from the sixteenth to 18th centuries, and the centralization of non secular authority within the nineteenth century. The editor offers an research of the ideological revolution in Shi`ism in the course of the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties. vital records and first resources were chosen for half II representing the foremost traits within the background of Shi`ism. With exceptions, those assets have neither been to be had in English translation nor simply obtainable within the unique Arabic or Persian. an in depth advent by means of the editor successfully connects elements I and II of the e-book.

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The 'ulama '(literally, the learned, from 'ilm [science/knowledge]), too, because of their legal learning and their knowledge of the Qur'an and the Traditions of the Prophet, were His heirs and therefore their legal injunctions were to be obeyed. They possessed authority as the interpreters of the shari'a (Sacred Law). However, unlike political authority which was exercised by the persons of the Caliph and the Sultan, the authority of the 'ulama' was both impersonal and collective. Furthermore, it was institutionally amorphous.

8. The Buyids, incidentally, came from Daylam, the stronghold of Zaydi Shi'ism in Iran. After conquering Baghdad in 945/334, the Buyids did not abolish the 'Abbasid Caliphate and retained the Caliph as a figurehead representing Islam with supreme authority over the application of the shari'a. 9. A. K. S. Lambton, State and Government in Medieval Islam,Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981: Chapter VII. 10. Crone and Hinds, op. , esp. pp. 34, 80-82. 11. See below, pp. 192-93. 12. See S. A. Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1984), pp.

Special thanks are due to Ms Liora Gvion for her work on the Index. The terms Shi'ism, Shi'ite and Shi'a in this book always refer to Imami or Twelver Shi'ism. Zaydi and Isma'ili Shi'ism are not covered. For consistency, Persian words have been transliterated in conformity with the Arabic, except in that 'v' is used for the waw in preference to 'w'. Usually, both the Islamic and the common era dates are given together in the text. Whenever only one date is given, it refers to the common era. Finally, I have added a few comments and notes to the chapters by other contributors.

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