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Shi'i Scholars of Nineteenth-Century Iraq

Shi'i Scholars of Nineteenth-Century Iraq
The 'Ulama' of Najaf and Karbala'

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Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521892964

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About the Authors
  • In the nineteenth century, the shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala in Ottoman Iraq emerged as the most important Shi'i centres of learning. In a major contribution to the study of pre-modern Middle Eastern religious institutions, Meir Litvak analyses the social and political dynamics of these communities. Tracing the historical evolution of Shi'i leadership, he explores the determinants of social status amongst the ulama, the concept of patronage, the structure of learning, questions of ethnicity, and financial matters. He also assesses the role of the ulama as communal leaders who, in the face of a hostile Sunni government in Baghdad, were often obliged to adopt a more quietest political stance than their counterparts in Iran. This is an important book which sheds light on the formation of contemporary Shi'ism and the surrounding debates.

    • 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
    Read more

    Awards

    • Prizewinner - The British-Kuwait Friendship Society prize in Middle Eastern studies.

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    Product details

    • 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

    Acknowledgements
    Note on transliteration
    List of abbreviations
    Map
    Introduction
    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
    Conclusion
    Appendix
    Notes
    Glossary
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Meir Litvak, Tel-Aviv University

    Awards

    • Prizewinner - The British-Kuwait Friendship Society prize in Middle Eastern studies.

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