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The shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala in nineteenth-century Ottoman Iraq were the most important Shi'i centers of learning. In the first in-depth study of the period, Meir Litvak explores the social and political dynamics of these communities and the historical development of Shi'i leadership. In this context, the book not only contributes to the historical debates, but also more broadly to an understanding of modern Shi'ism. It will appeal to historians of the Middle East, Islam, and to students of comparative religion.Read more
- Discusses Shi'i religious communities in nineteenth-century Iraq within social and political context
- Historical focus throws light on contemporary political and religious debates
- Strong interdiscplinary appeal to historians, students of Islam and comparative religion
- Prizewinner - The British-Kuwait Friendship Society prize in Middle Eastern studies.
Reviews & endorsements
"Litvak has made an important and original contribution to our understanding of nineteenth-century Iraqi Shi'ism, and alo to the relations of the shrine cities with both Istanbul and Tehran...I learned a great deal from this balanced, nuanced, and carefully argued book." MESA Bulletin, Peter Sluglett, University of Utah
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- Date Published: May 2002
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521892964
- length: 272 pages
- dimensions: 232 x 159 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Note on transliteration
List of abbreviations
Part I. The Community: Learning and Leadership:
1. The community of learning: concept and organization
2. Leadership in the age of multiple centers
3. Monopolization of leadership in Najaf
4. Diffusion, centralization and politicization
5. Determinants of status and leadership
Part II. The 'Ulama' Between the Ottomans and Qajars:
6. The shrine cities, the Mamluks and Iran
7. The 'ulama' and the reassertion of direct Ottoman control
8. The 'ulama' and Ottoman centralization policy
9. The changing political triangle, 1875–1904
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