Two New Books Published by IIS

11 Janvier 2001

October 2000 sees the release of two new IIS publications: Nasir Khusraw, The Ruby of Badakhshan: A Portrait of the Persian Poet, Traveller and Philosopher by Dr Alice C Hunsberger, and Early Shi‘i Thought: The Teachings of Imam al-Baqir by Dr Arzina Lalani. Both books, published in association with I.B. Tauris, add to the Institute's growing list of academic publications.

The Ruby of Badakhshan, the third publication in the Ismaili Heritage Series, is the first comprehensive study on Nasir Khusraw to appear in English. Based on his travels, and drawing extensively from his philosophical and poetic writings, many of which have been translated for the first time, The Ruby of Badakhshan adds significant knowledge to the field of Ismaili Studies and Persian Literature.

Early Shi‘i Thought, traces the life and teachings of the Imaminfo-icon Muhammad al-Baqir, an important figure involved in the formation of Shi‘i Muslim identity and formulation of its law, theology, and practice. The study argues that it was al-Baqir who gave his followers a distinctive religious identity and provided the foundation for Shi‘i law which was later crystallised in the time of his son and successor, the Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq. This book will be of interest to scholars of Islamic law, theology and history as well as to those interested in Shi‘i studies and Muslim intellectual history.

Both Drs Hunsberger and Lalani will be representing the IIS and presenting papers based on their recent publications at the 34th annual meeting of the Middle Eastern Studies Association of North America (MESA), one of the largest international conferences on Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in the world. The Institute will also be sponsoring a panel entitled, “Representations of Ismailism”. The conference will take place from November 16 - 19, 2000 in Orlando, Florida.