Twelve infallible men : the imams and the making of Shi'ism / Matthew Pierce.

By: Pierce, Matthew [author.]Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooksPublisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2016Description: 1 online resource (ix, 254 pages)Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780674969087; 0674969081Subject(s): Islamic hagiography | Imams (Shiites) -- Biography -- History and criticism | Shīʻah | Identification (Religion)Additional physical formats: Print version:: Twelve infallible men.DDC classification: 297.8/20922 LOC classification: BP189.43 | .P54 2016Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Setting the stage -- Consolation for a community -- Betrayal and the boundaries of faithfulness -- Vulnerable bodies and masculine ideals -- Entering the cosmos.
Summary: "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.
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BP189.43 .P54 2016 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1c84f1b Available ocn951028592
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BP189.2 .S785 2015 Sufis and Salafis in the Contemporary Age. BP189.23 .S57 2013 Sufis and Anti-Sufis : BP189.26 -- .A273 2015 Ibn Al-Arabi's Fusus Al-Hikam : BP189.43 .P54 2016 Twelve infallible men : BP189.585.M64 2013eb Festival of Pirs : BP189.65.F35 B45 2011 The powerful ephemeral : BP189.65.M87 A22 2002 The female voice in Sufi ritual :

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"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.

Setting the stage -- Consolation for a community -- Betrayal and the boundaries of faithfulness -- Vulnerable bodies and masculine ideals -- Entering the cosmos.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

"Twelve infallible men" of the title references more than the dozen imams of Shi'ite Islam. This work is about 14 individuals: the 12, plus Muhammad the Prophet and his daughter-in-law Fatima, both of whom also have unique roles in the Shi'ite understanding of what it means to be Muslim. Through an examination of these 14 personages' classical biographies (most of which have yet to be translated into English), Pierce (Centre College) shows how the Shi'ites came to understand themselves and their place within the wider Islamic commonwealth. Pierce considers the biographies not with regard to their facticity or reliability as historical accounts but instead to see how these stories were received by Shi'ites and how their construction helped determine Shi'ite identity. Pierce concludes that the differences between the Sunni majority and the various Shi'ite minorities lie in more than variant ideas of authority, succession to the leadership of the Islamic commonwealth, or even theological nuances. Rather, the distinctions among those who acknowledge Muhammad as God's final prophet stem from the complex interplay of all these factors, along with attendant views of history, and of ritual and practice. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --Steven Peter Blackburn, Hartford Seminary

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