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World Religion Series: Introduction to Shi'i Islam

Religion, Theology & Philosophy
10 weeks
Weekly Study
Jan 28-Apr 7
Register By
February 2, 2021

Syllabus (PDF, updated Jan. 2021)

This course focuses on Shi`i Islam, and in particular on the Ithna `Ashariyyih (or Twelver) school of Shi`i Islam, to which belong the vast majority of Shi`is today. It looks at the history of this religious group and its distinctive teachings. In particular it looks at the causes of the splitting of Shi`ism from the main body of Islam, the history and doctrine of the Imamate, the Twelfth Imam, and the developments in Shi`ism leading up to the present day.

Required Text

The primary textbook for the course is Moojan Momen, Introduction to Shí’í Islam (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1985), ISBN 978-0300035315 (paperback), $30 ($23.57 through Amazon). Used copies are available from Amazon as low as $8.50.

Meet Your Faculty
Moojan Momen, MD
WI Department Coordinator, Author

Dr. Moojan Momen was born in Iran, but was raised and educated in England, attending the University of Cambridge. He has a special interest in the study of Shi`i Islam and the Bahá’í Faith, both from the viewpoint of their history and their doctrines. In recent years, his interests have... See Faculty Bio

Peter Smith, PhD
Assoc. Prof., Mahidol University International College (MUIC)

I was one of a number of young British Bahá’ís who were attracted to the scholarly study of the Faith by the pioneering work of Hasan Balyuzi. As a group we began a series of academically-oriented Bahá’í Studies seminars (which still continue) and a few of us also chose Bábí... See Faculty Bio

Todd Lawson, PhD
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto

Todd Lawson is Professor Emeritus of Islamic Thought, University of Toronto. He has been a Bahá’í since 1968 and has been a member, since 1975, of the Association for Bahá’í Studies who this year awarded him the distinguished book award for his study of the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá’, Gnostic apocalypse in Islam (Routledge... See Faculty Bio

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