The Baha'is of Iran: Socio-Historical Studies

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The Baha’i community of Iran is the country’s largest non-Muslim religious minority. This collection of essays presents a comprehensive study of the social and historical development of the Baha’i community, and its role in shaping modern Iran.

Central to this study is the pioneering character of the Baha’i community in the late 19th and early 20th century, with chapters examining the role of women in the Baha’i community; the impact of Baha’i-run schools on Iranian society, Baha’i contributions to public health initiatives; and the influence of Baha’i thought and the actions of individual Baha’is on the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911.

Conversion to the Baha’i Faith is another important theme, as contributors investigate the phenomenon of large scale conversion to the Baha’i Faith from the Jewish and Zoroastrian communities.

Finally, although persecution of the Baha’is has drawn the attention of the Western media, until now few scholars working in the field of Iranian studies have chosen to write on the history or details of this persecution. Here, five prominent figures in the field redress this balance and look at different aspects of this persecution, including its historical background, the attitude of secular Iranians, persecution before and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and human rights perspectives.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Iranian studies, Middle Eastern studies and comparative religion, and with many chapters authored by leading academics in Iranian studies, The Baha’is of Iran addresses both a gap in academic literature on the Baha’i Faith, and in the study of modern Iran in general.

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About the author

Dominic Parviz Brookshaw is Lecturer in Persian Studies and Iranian Literature at the University of Manchester.

Dr Seena B Fazel is Clinical Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and an honorary Consultant Psychiatrist.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Oct 2, 2012
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781134250004
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / Middle Eastern
Religion / Baha'i
Religion / Islam / General
Social Science / Regional Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Despite his towering presence in premodern Persian letters, Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafiz of Shiraz (d. 1390) remains an elusive and opaque character for many. In order to look behind the hyperbole that surrounds Hafiz's poetry and penetrate the quasi-hagiographical film that obscures the poet himself, this book attempts a contextualisation of Hafiz that is at once socio-political, historical, and literary. Here, Hafiz's ghazals (short, monorhyme, broadly amorous lyric poems) are read comparatively against similar texts composed by his less-studied rivals in the hyper competitive, imitative, and profoundly intertextual environment of fourteenth-century Shiraz. By bringing Hafiz's lyric poetry into productive, detailed dialogue with that of the counterhegemonic satirist, 'Ubayd Zakani (d. 1371), and the marginalised Jahan-Malik Khatun (d. after 1391; the most prolific female poet of premodern Iran), our received understanding of this most iconic of stages in the development of the Persian ghazal is disrupted, and new avenues for literary exploration open up.

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