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Call for Papers: Historicizing the Shiʿi Hadith Corpus

From 24-26 June 2020, the Leiden University Centre for Islam and Society (LUCIS) and Shiʿi Studies Unit of the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London (IIS), will host a conference on the Shiʿi hadith corpora. The deadline for abstracts is 31 January 2020.

This conference will focus on the processes which led to the early production, evolution, dissemination and canonisation of a set of distinctively Shiʿi hadith corpora. These corpora are both clearly linked to the greater project of hadith in Islam, but they also follow certain, understudied processes specific to the Shiʿi communities. In the conference, both the specificities of the various Shiʿi hadith corpora (Twelver, Zaydi, Ismaili, Nuṣayri, and so on) will be addressed, as well as their links and cleavages with hadith corpora preserved by other Muslim traditions. The focus of this conference will be the period in which the Shiʿi hadith corpora were initially formed and canonized, and therefore will aim at contributions dealing with the years roughly 700-1250 CE, however extensions to this period will be accepted if the case demands it.

This conference will bring together scholars working on the formation and canonisation of Shiʿi hadith, to summarise progress, and sketch out future directions and lacunae. The aim of the conference is to produce a landmark publication for the study of Shiʿi hadith, to be published as part of the Institute of Ismaili Studies’ Shiʿi Heritage Series, and all participants will be expected to submit their papers for consideration in the resulting volume.

Participants in the conference will be asked to present original research which illuminates and reflects upon the key sub-fields of the study of Shiʿi hadith, including particular figures, geographical schools, texts, social contexts, topics and methods. Thus, even if contributions are on a narrowly focused topic, it is essential they address the larger questions and framework of the conference, indicating how their work relates to work that has been done in the larger field, and how it fills a gap or strengthens a direction of research which will be salutary to the field. Contributions might address the following areas for the formative period of the Imami, Ismaili, Zaydi or other Shiʿi traditions:

  • Definitions of hadith and hadith studies (comparing Imami, Ismaili, Zaydi perspectives
  • Genres and terms, such as hadith, khabar/akhbār), aṣl, kitāb, muṣannaf, jāmiʿ, masāʾil, nawādir
  • Authenticity, dating, transmission history
  • Manuscripts of Shiʿi hadith works
  • Dealing with particular Imams and the bodies of hadith ascribed to them
  • Mechanisms of production, dissemination and circulation of hadith during the lifetime of the Imams and thereafter
  • Hadith relating to a particular event, such as the Occultation or the rise of the Fatimids
  • Hadith in a particular era of production and compilation, such as the Buyid or Seljuk eras
  • Hadith in a particular location, such as Qum or Qayrawan
  • Post-classical hadith compilations
  • Particular hadith compilers and their works, such as Qāḍī Nuʿmān or Ibn Babawayh
  • Hadith of Nusayris, Druze or “ghulāt”
  • Hadith and history writing
  • Hadith and law
  • Hadith and theology, philosophy or mysticism
  • Hadith and ethics, piety, practice, liturgy (prayer, ziyāra, etc.)
  • Exegetical hadith/ hadith in exegesis
  • Apocalyptic hadith
  • Science, medicine and magic
  • Hadith, adab and poetry
  • Hadith and heresiography
  • Bio-bibliographical literature (rijāl and fihrist)
  • Hadith criticism and commentary
  • Isnād criticism

Important Data

Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 January 2020

Email: Please send an abstract of around 300 words to e.p.hayes@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Draft papers should be pre-circulated 1 month before the conference.

Final chapters should be submitted for the edited volume by January 31st 2021.

Conference Date: 24-26 June 2020

Subsidies for travel and accommodation will be available.

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