Guardians of Shi'ism: Sacred Authority and Transnational Family Networks (Hardcover)
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.