Introduce participants to sources and structures of religious authority, highlighting commonality of beliefs across major contemporary Shi‘i traditions (Isma‘ili, Ithna ‘Ashari, Zaydi, etc.).
Discuss the commonality and diversity of doctrines, practices and law among Shi‘i communities to help participants develop a better understanding of what it means to be a Shi‘a Muslim in the modern world and situate the Ismailis in this context.
Explore the rich intellectual and artistic heritage of Shi‘i Islam from its foundational period to contemporary times to enable participants to identify distinctive characteristics of Shi‘i heritage and note how these resonate in the intellectual and artistic heritage of the Ismailis, past and present.
Facilitate a nuanced understanding of the status and role of the Shi‘a in the cotemporary world, their geographical placement and some of the challenges ensuing from their minority status in the modern world, including those related to the current sectarian and geopolitical conflicts.