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Author Pierce, Matthew, author
Title Twelve infallible men : the imams and the making of shi'ism / Matthew Pierce
Imprint Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2016
book jacket
 人文社會聯圖  BP189.43 .P54 2016    AVAILABLE    30610020505574
Descript ix, 254 pages ; 24 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 165-244) and index
Setting the stage -- Consolation for a community -- Betrayal and the boundaries of faithfulness -- Vulnerable bodies and masculine ideals -- Entering the cosmos
"The rift between Sunni and Shīʻah Muslims is one of the most salient divisions in the history of Islam. Twelve Infallible Men explores the role of stories in the development of a distinctly Shīʻah identity, demonstrating how accounts of saintly figures were popularized to meet the needs of a religious community. This analysis of Shīʻah narratives provides insight into the social and religious significance of stories of the imams, helping explain what made them worth preserving. This book examines a form of biography that emerged around the beginning of the tenth century CE, when Shīʻah scholars began compiling accounts of individual imams into works spanning the lives of all twelve holy figures. These collective biographies canonized particular versions of the lives and deaths of the imams, in the process constructing a sacred history. The themes and motifs found in these biographies reveal the concerns of Shīʻah Muslim communities in the medieval period. Shīʻah accounts of the imams' lives often differed significantly from those of their adversaries, reflecting an emotionally-charged conflict about issues of religious authority and legitimacy. The collective biographies imbued select memories of the imams' lives with religious significance, thereby demarcating communal boundaries in enduring ways. The stories inspired and entertained, but more importantly they offered consolation to a community searching for meaning at a new stage of history. They became the focal point of communal memory, inspiring Shīʻah religious imagination for centuries to come."--Provided by publisher
Subject Islamic hagiography
Imams (Shiites) -- Biography -- History and criticism
Identification (Religion)
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