Sectarian Identity and Community Formation in Islam
About The Event
The University of Chicago Shiʿi Studies Group Annual Symposium
Date: October 26-27, 2018
Venue: The Franke Institute, 1100 E 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
The University of Chicago Shiʿi Studies Symposium is an endeavor of the Shiʿi Studies Group, established in 2010, to provide an interdisciplinary, non-area-specific forum for the discussion of research on Shiʿism by faculty and graduate students at the University and beyond. The annual symposium aims to strengthen the field of Shiʿi Studies by bringing together a group of both senior and early-career scholars to present research and to cultivate an environment for intellectual discussion and collaboration. At each symposium we aim to address a focused set of questions with cross-cutting relevance to scholars working on various periods and from various disciplinary perspectives.
Given the modern and historical importance of sectarian identity in the Muslim world, the University of Chicago’s Shi‘i Studies Group is hosting this year’s annual symposium on “Sectarian Identity and Community Formation in Islam.”
Symposium topics are as the following:
• Polemical texts which sought to emphasize communal differences from various political and social contexts in Islamic history;
• Periods in which sectarian debates have played a less prominent role, being abandoned in favor of more fluid conceptions of Islamic confessional allegiances;
• Ways in which Shi‘i communal identities have been experienced and expressed by means of popular, day-to-day religious observance;
• Historical political disputes which have been framed as being sites of sectarian tension including, for example, the Ottoman-Safavid rivalry, and how these conflicts may be studied in terms of communal identity;
• Comparative studies on how a distinctly “Shi‘i” identity was conceived by various groups within Shi‘ism, including Zaydis, Twelvers, Isma‘ilis, and Alawis, in both historical and modern contexts.
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