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Book: Converting Persia Religion and Power in the Safavid Empire

This book explains how Iran was to acquire one of its defining characteristics: its Shi’ism. Under the Safavids (1501-1736 CE), Persia adopted Shi’ism as its official religion.

The writer, Rula Abisaab, explains how and why this specific brand of Shi’ism – urban and legally-based – was brought to the region by leading Arab ‘Ulama from Ottoman Syria, and changed the face of the region till this day. These emigre scholars furnished distinct sources of legitimacy for the Safavid monarchs, and an ideological defense against the Ottomans. Just as important at the time was a conscious and vivid process of Persianization both at the state level and in society. Converting Persia is vital reading for anthropologists, historians and scholars of religion, and any interested in Safavid Persia, in Shi’ism, and in the wider history of the Middle East.”Rula Abisaab has provided us with a remarkable study of Safavid Iran. Her work throws new light on the interplay of religion and society and will be a crucial work for all interested in the making of modern Iran.”

Rula Jurdi Abisaab is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canad.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Converting Persia Religion and Power in the Safavid Empire

Author: Rula Jurdi Abisaab

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd

Language: English

Length: 234 pages

ISBN: 9781860649707

Pub. Date: : Feb 26, 2004


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