Twelver Shiism and Political Power

"In a number of different settings I have recently heard the opinion voiced that Ithna’ashari ) Twelver) Shia ‘Ulema (scholars) have traditionally chosen to hold themselves apart from political power in whatever state they have inhabited and that they believe in something akin to the Western notion of a proper separation of church and state.  Usually, the same speaker or writer will accompany this with a description of the late Ayatollah Khomeini as a "heretic" for holding a different view of this matter.  I find these positions to be inadequate in both statements for two broad reasons:"

The issue of Shia clerics and political ambitions never seem to leave us, and so I have decided to publish here an old essay of mine on the subject.

Pat Lang

Download twelver_shiism_and_political_power..doc

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2 Responses to Twelver Shiism and Political Power

  1. b says:

    Thank you, thanks a lot for this piece.
    Very interesting and complex, just like the buddist, christian and jewish religious development.
    There seem to be some openings for development. Can you suggest some further reads?

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