The Charismatic Community: Shi'ite Identity in Early Islam
The Charismatic Community examines the rise and development of Shi>ite religious identity in early Islamic history, analyzing the complex historical and intellectual processes that shaped the sense of individual and communal religious vocation. The book reveals the profound and continually evolving connection between the spiritual ideals of the Shi>ite movement and the practical processes of community formation. Author Maria Massi Dakake traces the Qurite Imam, >Ali b. Abi Talib. Dakake argues that walaμyah pertains not only to the charisma of the Shi>ite leadership and devotion to them, but also to solidarity and loyalty among the members of the community itself. She also looks at the ways in which doctrinal developments reflected and served the practical needs of the Shi>ite community, the establishment of identifiable boundaries and minimum requirements of communal membership, the meaning of women’s affiliation and identification with the Shi>ite movement, and Shi>ite efforts to engender a more normative and less confrontational attitude toward the non-Shi>ite Muslim community.
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