Introduction: Shiʿism and Authority

Linda S. Walbridge

in The Most Learned of the Shiʿa

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137996
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849055 | DOI:
Introduction: Shiʿism and Authority

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This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of Shiʿite leadership. It then sets out the purpose of the book, which is to explore the factors that gave rise to the institution of the marjaʿiya—or challenged it—and influenced the institution's power during its uneven history. The book shows how social, political, and economic factors interweave with theological debates, leading sometimes to a powerful centralized clerical order and at other times to one weakened by factionalism, economic constraints, and governmental intereference. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: Shiʿism; Shiʿite leadership; marjaʿiya; theological debate

Chapter.  6317 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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