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Power and Knowledge in Medieval Islam: Shi'i and Sunni Encounters in Baghdad

Power and Knowledge in Medieval Islam: Shi'i and Sunni Encounters in Baghdad
Tariq Al-Jamil

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  • Hardback | Not Yet Published | $99.00


During the period of Mongol occupation from 1258-1386, Baghdad was a site of intense intellectual debate and dialogue between Shi'i and Sunni communities. In this long-established centre of learning in the Islamic world, scholars such as Ibn Taymiyya and the influential Imami Shi'i scholar Allamah al-Hilli participated extensively in the transmission of knowledge across sectarian lines, as both students and teachers. Tarqi al-Jamil here contextualises the social and political climate of Iraq during this time, examining the dynamic and complex nature of Shi'i-Sunni relations and their competition for authority and legitimacy. This significant new history provides a challenge to contemporary discourses - both scholarly and in the popular media - that tend to falsely attribute the current political conflict in Iraq to pre-modern Shi'i-Sunni relations in the region. Instead, al-Jamil articulates a framework for understanding the negotiation of boundaries between Shi'i-Sunni religious communities, broadening the consensus of critical historical knowledge concerning what it meant to be Shi'i or Sunni.

Author Info

Tariq al-Jamil is Associate Professor of Religion and Islamic Studies at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. His research focuses on Shi'ism and inter- communal violence, religious dissimulation, the transmission of knowledge in medieval Islam, and gender, sexuality, and the body in Islamic law and social practice. Al-Jamil received his BA from Oberlin College, MTS from Harvard University, and MA and PhD from Princeton University.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: The Early and Medieval Islamic World

ISBN: 9781780764931
Publication Date: 29 May 2018
Number of Pages: 240
Height: 216
Width: 134

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