Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Philosophy and Religion -- Shi'ite Islam: Polity, Ideology, and Creed by Yann Richard and Translated by Antonia Nevill

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Philosophy and Religion -- Shi'ite Islam: Polity, Ideology, and Creed by Yann Richard and Translated by Antonia Nevill

Article excerpt

Shi'ite Islam: Polity, Ideology, and Creed, by Yann Richard. Tr. by Antonia Nevill. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, US: Blackwell, 1995. xiii + 217 pages. Chron. to p. 219. Gloss. to p. 225. Bibl. to p. 232. Index to p. 241. $54.95 cloth; $21.95 paper.

Shi'ite Islam has been the object of intense scholarly scrutiny in the last 16 years. While many academics have used elaborate theories and methodologies to demystify Shi'ite revivalism and militancy, others have employed a mixture of historical and scholarly accounts to illuminate its evolution and cultural and political attributes.

Yann Richard's contribution belongs in the latter category. While his book has certain stylistic similarities to Roy Mottahedeh's seminal work, The Mantle of the Prophet,(1) in many regards it is also distinctively different from the latter. While Mottahedeh focused on the making of an enlightened Shi'ite clergy and, through the narrative of his socialization, eloquently told us the intellectual history of the Iranian Revolution, Richard's book encompasses observations on the total development of Shi'ism as a faith. Richard concentrates on pristine Shi'ism, traces its evolution through the Middle Ages, illuminates its development in Iran, and dissects its revolutionary transformation. He also describes the Shi'ite communities outside Iran and assesses the place of women in the Shi'ite culture.

Free from jargon, this is a well-written, readable, informative, and accessible book that can benefit both the general reader and the expert. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.