Shiʿi Islam, with its rich and extensive history, has played a crucial role in the evolution of Islam as both a major world religion and civilisation. The prolific achievements of Shiʿi theologians, philosophers and others are testament to the spiritual and intellectual wealth of this community. Yet Shiʿi studies has unjustly remained a long-neglected field, despite the important contribution that Shiʿism has made to Islamic traditions. Only in recent decades, partially spurred by global interest in political events of the Middle East, have scholars made some significant contributions in this area.
The Study of Shiʿi Islam presents papers originally delivered at the first international colloquium dedicated exclusively to Shiʿi studies, held in 2010 at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. Within the book are eight sections, namely, history, the Qurʾan and its Shiʿi interpretations, hadith
, law, authority, theology, rites and rituals, and intellectual traditions and philosophy. Each section begins with an introduction contextualising the aspects of studying Shiʿi Islam particular to its theme, before going on to address topics such as the state of the field, methodology and tools, and the primary issues with which contemporary scholars of Shiʿi studies are dealing. The scope and depth here covered makes this book of special interest to researchers and students alike within the field of Islamic studies.
The volume benefits from the diverse expertise of nearly 30 eminent scholars, including Mohammad Ali Amir
-Moezzi, Meir M. Bar-Asher, Farhad Daftary, Daniel De Smet, Gerald R. Hawting, Nader El-Bizri, Etan Kohlberg, Wilferd Madelung, Andrew J. Newman, Ismail K. Poonawala, Sabine Schmidtke and Paul E. Walker.