Shi'ism

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Columbia University Press, 2004 - History - 216 pages
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Heinz Halm's work presents a thorough and accessible discussion of the history, theology, and current state of this branch of Islam. Newly revised, Shi'ism includes updated information on the fate of the Shi'ite revolution in Iran as well as a new chapter on Iraq.

Observing a tradition more than 1000 years old, Shi'ites represent 10 percent of the Muslim population, or 100 million people. Halm explores how Shi'ism differs from the rest of Islam, discussing the prominence of its authorities, the Imams, as well as its legal system, practices of worship, places of pilgrimages, and a religious ethos characterized by a fervor to suffer for the cause.

Additionally, Halm provides a lucid survey of the various branches of Shi'ism, paying attention to their historical, organizational, and theological developments. The book also considers the appeal and impact of Imams in contemporary Shi'ism and their interpretation of the social and economic problems gripping the Islamic world.

  

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Contents

The Imamiyya or Twelver Shia
28
The extreme Shia
154
The Ismalliyya or Sevener Shia
160
The Zaydiyya
202
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About the author (2004)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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