Shi‘i Islam, with its rich and extensive history, has played a crucial role in the evolution of Islam as both a major world religion and civilisation. Yet the study of Shi‘i Islam has long remained among the most-understudied branches of Islamic Studies in the West. This 15-minute interview with Dr Gurdofarid Miskinzoda provides an overview of the scholarly development on specific aspects of Shi‘i Islam in the recent decades, and on the contributions of nearly thirty eminent scholars to the edited volume. These include Farhad Daftary, Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, Meir M. Bar-Asher, Daniel De Smet, Gerald R. Hawting, Nader El-Bizri, Etan Kohlberg, Wilferd Madelung, Andrew J. Newman, Ismail K. Poonawala, Sabine Schmidtke and Paul E. Walker.
Reflecting on the scheme of contents for the volume, Dr Miskinzoda comments on some of the most common misconceptions regarding Shi‘i Islam that were taken into account in the preparation of this volume, and the series at large. The interview provides an insight into the critical methodology that underpins the selection of content and contributors to the Institute’s endeavours of raising awareness about the rich intellectual and cultural heritage of Shi‘i traditions through the centuries, enabling Islam to evolve and flourish both as a major religion and a civilisation. The Study of Shi‘i Islam is the first book that provides an extensive and comprehensive overview of Shi‘i Islam in one volume.
1. How does the approach to The Study of Shi‘i Islam compare with other works on Shi‘i Islam?
2. How were the key themes and contributors selected for this volume?
3. What are some of the common misconceptions about Shi‘i Islam that you envisage this series would address?
4. Could you please elaborate for our audiences on your chapter in the book, The Story of Pen & Paper and its interpretation in Muslim Literary and Historical Tradition?
5. Could you please shed some light on the upcoming publications in the Shi‘i Heritage Series?