The Charismatic Community: Shi'ite Identity in Early Islam

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-03-08
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr
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The Charismatic Community examines the rise and development of Shi'ite religious identity in early Islamic history, analyzing the complex historical and intellectual processes that shaped the sense of individual and communal religious vocation. The book reveals the profound and continually evolving connection between the spiritual ideals of the Shi'ite movement and the practical processes of community formation. Author Maria Massi Dakake traces the Qur'anic origins and early religious connotations of the concept of walayah and the role it played in shaping the sense of communal solidarity among followers of the first Shi'ite Imam, 'Ali b. Abi Talib. Dakake argues that walayah pertains not only to the charisma of the Shi'ite leadership and devotion to them, but also to solidarity and loyalty among the members of the community itself. She also looks at the ways in which doctrinal developments reflected and served the practical needs of the Shi'ite community, the establishment of identifiable boundaries and minimum requirements of communal membership, the meaning of women's affiliation and identification with the Shi'ite movement, and Shi'ite efforts to engender a more normative and less confrontational attitude toward the non-Shi'ite Muslim community. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Maria Massi Dakake is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xi
Author's Notep. xii
Introductionp. 1
The Principle of Walayah and the Origins of the Community
Walayah in the Islamic Traditionp. 15
The Ghadir Khumm Tradition: Walayah and the Spiritual Distinctions of `Ali b. Abi Talibp. 33
Walayah, Authority, and Religious Community in the First Civil Warp. 49
The Shi`ite Community in the Aftermath of the First Civil Warp. 71
Walayah, Faith, and the Charismatic Nature of Shi`ite Identity
Walayah as the Essence of Religion: Theological Developments at the Turn of the Second Islamic Centuryp. 103
Membership in the Shi`ite Community and Salvationp. 125
Predestination and the Mythological Origins of Shi`ite Identityp. 141
The Charismatic Nature and Spiritual Distinction of the Shi`itesp. 157
Creating a Community within a Community
Shi`ites and Non-Shi`ites: The Distinction between Iman and Islamp. 177
Degrees of Faith: Establishing a Hierarchy within the Shi`ite Communityp. 191
"Rarer than Red Sulfur": Women's Identity in Early Shi`ismp. 213
Perforated Boundaries: Establishing Two Codes of Conductp. 237
Notesp. 253
Bibliographyp. 301
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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