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The Shi‘i World: Pathways in Tradition and Modernity

29th September 2016
The Ismaili Centre
1 Cromwell Gardens
United Kingdom

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The Institute of Ismaili Studies will be hosting a book launch at the Ismaili Centre, London, for The Shi‘i World: Pathways in Tradition and Modernity edited by Dr Farhad Daftary, Dr Shainool Jiwa and Dr Amyn Sajoo. 

The Shi‘i World: Pathways in Tradition and Modernity, the fourth book in the Muslim Heritage Series, has been published by The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS). Fresh insights into the multi-faceted world of Shi‘ainfo-icon Islam, past and present, fill the sixteen chapters of this new publication. They showcase Shi‘i beliefs, practices and traditions in all their diversity through history, including their manifestations in art and architecture, music, cinema, literature, law and theology, and intellectual life. This work seeks to elucidate what is meant by Shi‘i identity and how ordinary women and men experience those various aspects of Shi‘isminfo-icon as individuals and members of communities, not only in their ‘traditional’ contexts in the Middle East and Asia, but also in the global diaspora. 



Dr Farhad Daftary

Dr Farhad Daftary completed his early and secondary education in Tehran, Rome, and London, before going to Washington, D.C., in 1958. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the American University there, and then continued his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, leading to a Ph.D. degree in 1971. Subsequently, Dr Daftary held different teaching posts, and, since 1988, he has been affiliated with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, where he is currently Director and Head (since 1992) of the Department of Academic Research and Publications.

An authority in Shi'i studies, with special reference to its Ismaili tradition, Dr. Daftary has published and lectured widely in these fields of Islamic studies. He has written more than 200 articles and encyclopedia entries and several acclaimed books, including A Short History of the Ismailis and The Assassin Legends.

Dr Shainool Jiwa

Dr Shainool Jiwa is the Head of Constituency Studies at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Prior to this, she was the Head of the Department of Community Relations from 2005 to 2012. She was also the founding coordinator of the Qur’anic Studies Project at the IIS (2002-2005). Dr Jiwa is a specialist in Fatimid history, having completed her Master’s degree from McGill University and her doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. As a senior faculty member, Dr Jiwa teaches on the IIS graduate programmes (GPISH & STEP) and contributes to the development of the IIS Secondary Curriculum.

Dr Jiwa’s latest monograph is titled, The Founder of Cairo: The Fatimid Imam-Caliph al-Muizz and his Era. This complements her earlier work titled Towards a Shi'i Mediterranean Empire, which she published in 2009. Dr Jiwa is currently working on a monograph on the life and times of the Fatimid Imam-Caliph al-‘Aziz billah.