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.
Guardians of Shi'ism
Edinburgh University Press
Sacred Authority and Transnational Family Networks