Shiʿi Materiality Beyond Karbala

Religion That Matters


This book examines material and multi-sensorial expressions of Shiʿi Islam in diverse, and understudied demographic and geographic contexts.It engages with conceptual debates and makes several propositions that push the frontiers of scholarship on Islamic and Religious Studies, Material Religion, Heritage Studies, and Anthropology and Sociology of Religion.The contributions presented in this volume demonstrate how material things and less thing-like materialities make the praesentia and potentia of the Sacred tangible, how they cultivate intimate relations between human and more-than-human beings, and how they act as links and gateways to the Elsewhere and Otherworldly. The volume posits that materialities of religion are integral to processes of heritagization shaped by competing social and political actors involved in the construction and canonization of religious—in this case, Shiʿi—heritage.

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Fouad Gehad Marei is a Research Fellow at Lund University in Sweden. He is specialized in Middle East politics, Muslim societies and cultures, Material Religion, Digital Religion, and conflict stabilization and transformation. He has published in the journals of Religion and Society, Political Geography, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, and Leadership and Developing Societies.

Yafa Shanneik is Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at Lund University in Sweden. Her book The Art of Resistance in Islam: The Performance of Politics among Shi‘i Women in the Middle East and Beyond was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.

Christian Funke is an independent scholar of religious studies, with a focus on Iran and Islamic societies. His research spans Ritual Studies, Material Religion, and Islam and politics in contemporary societies.
Ancient Near East
M. Weeden (London)

C. Leitz (Tübingen)
H. Gzella (Leiden)
C. Waerzeggers (Leiden)
D. Wicke (Mainz)
C. Woods (University of Pennsylvania)

Near and Middle East
Maribel Fierro (CSIC Madrid)
M. Şükrü Hanioğlu (Princeton)
D. Fairchild Ruggles (University of Illinois)
Florian Schwarz (Vienna)
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