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Juan Cole examines Shi'i Islam as a world religion that has faced modernity on its own terms. He explores the little known history of Shi'i communities as far afield as Bahrain and India, giving attention as well to important centers such as Lebanon , Iraq, and Iran. He demonstrates the way in which the Shi'is have sought to define space and time as sacred, and to defend those spaces from encroachment by the Other, whether that other be Sunni Arab, Hindu, or European Christian.
Part I: Iran and the Arab World
• Rival Empires of Trade and Imami Shi-ism in Eastern Arabia
• The Akhbari-Usuli Struggle Reconsidered
• Ethnics and Philosophy: The Persistence of Rationalism
• The Arab Shi'ites as an Ottoman Minority
• Indian Money and the Shi'ite Shrine Cities of Iraq
• Mafia, Mob, and Shi'ism
• Part II: India and the British Empire
• Invisible Occidentalism
• Iranian Orientalism
• Women and the making of India Shi'iism
• Sacred Space and Holy War
Posted January 29, 2004
Juan Cole is one of a small body of great American experts on Shi'a Islam. This compillation of essays is absolutely required reading for anyone who pretends to know anything about the Middle East. Our policy makers in Washington need desperately to take advantage of experts like Professor Cole. The prose is dense in places, but the insights are profound.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.