The current political events surrounding the Iranian nuclear crisis, the precarious situation in Lebanon, as well as the still unsettled fate of Iraq have resulted in a renewed interest in the Shi'ite dimension of Islam among political observers. This volume covers the phenomenon of political assertiveness among contemporary Shi'ite Muslims in the Middle East, as well as among converts in Southeast Asia. It argues that Shi'ite identities are often based on local cultural heritage and history and are - contrary to what is usually assumed by the wider public - not to be considered monolithic. Christoph Marcinkowski, award-winning Professor of Islamic Studies and Interreligious Relations at Germany's Catholic University of Eichstatt-Ingolstadt and the author of "Religion and Politics in Iraq", is currently working for Germany's Federal Interior Ministry and CIBEDO (the Christian-Muslim dialogue forum of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference) on a survey of Shi'ite organisations in Germany.
Publication Date: 3/31/2010