Philosophy, Religion and Science: Roman Catholics and Shi'i Muslims: Prayer, Passion and Politics

By Naef, Silvia | The Middle East Journal, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Philosophy, Religion and Science: Roman Catholics and Shi'i Muslims: Prayer, Passion and Politics


Naef, Silvia, The Middle East Journal


Roman Catholics and Shi'i Muslims: Prayer, Passion and Politics, by James A. Bill and John Alden Williams. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. xi + 146 pages. Notes to p. 166. Gloss. to p. 169. Bibl. to p. 177. Index to p. 184. $24.95.

The authors undertook to write this book after Iran's President Mohammad Khatami visited the Pope in March 1999. As Bill and Williams point out in the Introduction, September 11 made such a book even more necessary in that "it is in everyone's interest to develop a greater understanding of Islam" (p. x). In spite of being conscious of differences and historical hostility on both sides, the authors want to address "the community of civilizations" rather than the "clash" between them (p. 3).

Roman Catholicism and Shi'a Islam were chosen for four reasons (pp. 3-4), one being that a systematic comparison between the two systems had never been made (p. 4).

The book consists of seven chapters. The Introduction presents the aims of the book and gives some useful statistical information about the spread of Shi'a Islam (pp. 4-6). Chapter 1, "Roman Catholicism and Twelver Shiism," traces the historical background in which both religious systems developed. Chapter 2, "The Story of the People of the House," introduces the 14 holy personalities of Twelver Shi'ism, i.e., Muhammad, Fatima, and the 12 imams. Chapter 3, "Sacred Actors and Intercessors," shows the central role of the cult of holy personalities and places (imams, saints, shrines, etc.) in Roman Catholicism and in Shia Islam. Chapter 4, "Redemptive Suffering and Martyrdom," describes the place of these themes in both religions, in their theology as well as in the practice of the believers. As the authors say, "the redemptive deaths of Imam Husayn and Jesus Christ became the sources and symbols in Shiism and Catholicism, . . ."(p. 73), an aspect much less present in Sunni Islam or Protestant Christendom. Chapter 5, "Catholic Mystics and Islamic Sufis: The Confluence of Experience," gives a panorama of mystic practices and developments in Islam generally rather than concentrating on specific Shii aspects. Chapter 6, "Law and the State," gives an introduction to Islamic law (shari'a). The quietist attitude of Shi'is is also underlined (pp. 109-110). Chapter 7, "Authority, justice and the modern polity," compares religiously based liberation movements, like the Catholic liberation theology and the movement that finally led to the Islamic revolution in Iran and points out the central function of the clergy over the distribution of money collected through almsgiving in both religions (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Philosophy, Religion and Science: Roman Catholics and Shi'i Muslims: Prayer, Passion and Politics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.