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Book: Najaf, Portrait of a Holy City

Najaf: Portrait of a Holy City examines the historical and social aspects of one of Iraq’s most important cities, a centre of religious learning and devotion for the Shi‘i community since medieval times.

Through original contributions by leading Iraqi and international scholars, this volume presents several key aspects of the history and development of the city, its global spiritual and educational prominence and its modern role as an economic and political centre.

The thirteen essays in this book cover topics such as Najaf’s architecture and urban design, as well as the preservation of its built environment; the impact of social movements and revolutions on the city; pilgrimage and religious authority in Najaf; and the city’s libraries and intellectual development.

About the Author

Dr Sabrina Mervin is a specialist of contemporary Shi‘ism and a researcher at the CEIFR.

Prof. Robert Gleave is a specialist of Islamic thought and religious authority in Shi‘i Islam, and a professor of Arabic Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University.

Dr Géraldine Chatelard is a specialist of contemporary Iraq and Jordan and Associate Researcher at Ifpo.

Table of Contents

The foundation of three cities: Hira, Kufa and Najaf

The history and architecture of the Imam Ali Shrine

Geographical and historical perspectives on burial  in the Najaf area and Wadi al-Salam cemetery

The noble city: pilgrimage, urban charisma and sacred topography in Najaf

Ashura rituals in Najaf: the renewal of expressive modes in a changing urban and social landscape

Najaf learned authority and scholarly pre-eminence

A millennium in Najaf: the hawza of Shaykh al-Tusi

Writing the history of religious authorities in Najaf: the marja’iyya as apparatus

The libraries of Najaf and their manuscript heritage

The historiography of Najaf: a study of encycolpaedic Works

Najaf: a historical center of power and economy (1500-1920)

The Najaf revolt of 1980: its importance and potential, and the causes of its collapse

Communism in Najaf: the rise and fall of a secular movement between 1980 and 1963

Bibliographic Information

Title: Najaf, Portrait of a Holy City

َAuthors:  Sabrina Mervin and Robert Gleave

Publisher: Ithaca Press

Language: English

Length: 320 pages

ISBN: 978-0863725760

Pub. Date: September 5, 2017

Click Here to Buy the Book

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