Shi'ite Islam: Polity, Ideology and Creed

Overview

The return of Ayatollah Khomeyni to power and the installation of a Shi'i theocracy in Iran in 1979 brought the revolutionary aspects of Shi'ite Islam to the Western centre stage. Fuelled by pictures of bloodshed and atrocities, images of violence linked to Shia states have left their mark on Western perceptions. Shi'ism has today become synonymous with militancy and violence - Hezbollah, Islamic Jehad, hostage taking...
Yet, the media has taken merely one aspect of this ...

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Overview

The return of Ayatollah Khomeyni to power and the installation of a Shi'i theocracy in Iran in 1979 brought the revolutionary aspects of Shi'ite Islam to the Western centre stage. Fuelled by pictures of bloodshed and atrocities, images of violence linked to Shia states have left their mark on Western perceptions. Shi'ism has today become synonymous with militancy and violence - Hezbollah, Islamic Jehad, hostage taking...
Yet, the media has taken merely one aspect of this important phenomenon: namely a contempory Shi'ism firmly anchored in militancy. Yann Richard's careful narrative counters naive explanation, offering both a portrait of the spiritual and mystical faith which explains the deep history and mythology of Shi'ism up to the present. Islam is no more an Arab religion than Chritianity is a uniquely Western religion - not confined to the Arab world, the largest number of Muslims today are found in Asia, Indonesia, and the Indo-Pakistan peninsula, whilst the Iranian nation today represents the great centre of Shi'ite Islam.
Not only does the narrative chart the spread of Shi'ite influence over the Imanite communities, it uncovers the fundamental beliefs of Shi'ite identity on which a polity has been built. Richard examines both the development of Shi'i as theology and as a cultural history.
This book will stand the test of time to become a seminal text in Middle Eastern history and the study of world religions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557864703
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/27/1995
  • Series: Studies in Social Discontinuity Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of Iranian Studies, Institut des Etudes Iraniennes, University of Paris, (Sorbonne) and Director of Abstracta Iranica, the Institut Francais de Recherche en Iran.
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Table of Contents

Foreword. 1. A Few Words About Shi'ism. 2. A Holy Family. 3. A Mystic Theology. 4. A Destiny Linked with Iran. 5. The Shi'ites Outside Iran. 6. Shi'ism, Women and Pleasure. 7. Islamic Revolutionary Thinking. Conclusion. Chronological Highlights. Glossary. Bibliography.

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