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New book on sacred authority and transnational family networks in Shi'i Islam

Elvire Corboz has published "Guardians of Shi'ism: Sacred Authority and Transnational Family Networks" with Edinburgh University Press.

2015.02.12 | Mark Sedgwick

Guardians of Shi'ism ia a study of transnational Shi'ism that explains the constitution of clerical leadership patterns across borders

What is the significance of transnationalism to Shi`i Islam? And how is clerical authority shaped across borders? Based on a political sociology of two families of religious scholars, al-Hakim and al-Khu'i, Elvire Corboz explains the internal workings of transnational leadership patterns in Shi`ism for the first time.

Corboz compares the multifaceted roles played by Shi`i clerics in contemporary affairs with selective narratives about the traditional system of religious authority (the marja`iyya), political organisations, and international charities. Whether informal or institutionalised, their authority networks are in constant negotiation between communities and states in Iraq, Iran, other Middle Eastern countries, the Indian sub-continent South-East Asia, and the West. This multi-sited approach clarifies the local and transnational dynamics that underpin clerical authority.