Shia Islam is a central issue in contemporary politics. Often associated with Iran, Shiite communities actually exist in many Islamic countries. Focusing on the «other Shiites» outside Iran, this book offers a survey of their diversity and multiplicity in the last two centuries. The contributions cover three major topics. The first part deals with the relationship of Shia minorities to the Sunni regimes. Secondly the public affirmation of their identities through specific rituals and social attitudes is analysed. Finally, the third part of this volume examines the strengthening of these identities through traditional religious rituals and cultural performances, or through the re-interpretation and adaptation of these to present-day life. Coming from various academic backgrounds, the authors have used different methodologies and have been engaged in field-work.
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The Editors: Alessandro Monsutti teaches anthropology, migration studies and Middle Eastern studies at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies, Geneva.
Silvia Naef is professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Geneva and works on the visual culture of the Islamic world.
Farian Sabahi teaches Islam and Democracy at Turin University (Italy). She is a specialist on Iran and contributes regularly to the newspaper La Stampa.
«... the collective contents of the book offer a useful bird’s-eye view of the world of Shi‘a minorities. The select historical and ethnographic locations visited in this book should stimulate sorely needed scholarship in other aspects of this world.» (M. Jamil Hanifi, Middle East Journal)
«‘The Other Shiites’ brings new insight into Shiite identities from the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science, history and religious studies, and combines contextual analysis, fieldwork and theoretical enquiry to accomplish its purpose of highlighting the diversity of Shiite communities and corresponding identities outside Iran. This is a welcome contribution to academic work on historical and contemporary Islam.» (Stacey U. Tucker, International Sociology)
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