Islam as Power
Shi‛i Revivalism in the Oeuvre of Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah
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Providing an in-depth and extensive analysis of the concept of power as articulated by Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah (1935-2010), this case study analyses the systemic conceptualization of power and his argumentation of sacralizing Islamised power. The volume also offers a quick overview of how the concept was understood and articulated by other Shi‛ite jurists such as Ayatollah Khomeini.
Examining Fadlallah’s oeuvre, in particular his seminal book Islam and the Logic of Power [al-Islam wa-mantiq al-quwwa], this book focuses on the narrative itself, which played a central role in the radical transformation that occurred in the Shiite concept of empowerment and its recognition as a necessity. The analysis of Fadlallah’s conceptualization and argumentation illustrates the mechanism of sacralizing righteous power as well as the means of gaining it. Fadlallah reinterpreted Shi‛ism as a project of empowerment to initiate and sustain an "impulse of power" amongst the Lebanese Shi‛ites in the most critical moment of modern Lebanese history.
Dealing with the concept of power in Shi‛ite political thought from a theoretical perspective, the study has an innovative approach that offers an insight into how the transformative narrative is constructed and what makes it convincing. Shedding light on the content and logical structure of Fadlallah’s argumentation, this volume will be of interest to scholars and students researching contemporary politics, Islam and the Middle East.
Table of Contents
1. The Importance of Muḥammad Ḥusayn Faḍlallāh in ShīꜤī Revivalism
2. Defining Power as a System and an Intermediate Goal
3. Faḍlallāh’s Theology of Power
4. Spiritual Power as the Engine of Revolution
5. Social Power
6. Political Power
7. Ethics of Power
8. Rhetoric of Power
Bianka Speidl is a senior lecturer in the department of Arab studies at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary. She earned her PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. She spent academic years in Tunisia, Syria, Italy, and Lebanon. Between 2013-2019 she was a research fellow in the Research Group of Contemporary Religious Culture pertaining to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Szeged, Hungary.