From Library Journal
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 and recent events in Lebanon have greatly increased Western interest in the Shi'i branch of Islam, which is much less known than Sunni Islam. This volume provides a balanced and comprehensive treatment of a complex religious movement that has flourished since Islam's earliest days. Although it attempts no new or sophisticated interpretations, specialist and nonspecialist alike will benefit from its lucid exposition of both elite and popular Shi'ism. Especially valuable is the way the work presents modern critical scholarship on Shi'i history alongside the orthodox history, which still has great influence on the religion's self-understanding. A brief but useful concluding account locates the Iranian Revolution and Imam Khomeini within the framework of Iranian Shi'ism. Mel Piehl, History Dept., Valparaiso Univ., Ind.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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