Must a Caliph be Popular? The Theological and Legal Ramifications of Early Muslim Leadership Selection
This hybrid event will be held in person at Social Science Matrix, 820 Social Sciences Building, on the UC Berkeley campus. Physical attendance will be limited. The event will also be available online via Zoom. Registration is required here
Robert Gleave, Professor of Arabic Studies and Principal Investigator on the Law, Authority and Learning in Imami Shi'ite Islam Project, University of Exeter
After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the Muslim community began to debate his successor. The various factions, and the events which followed were to reverberate through the centuries – debates around the proper qualities of a leader, how the leader should be selected, and when and how might the people depose this leader dominated Muslim political theology in the medieval period. In this lecture, Robert Gleave examines how these events in 7th century Arabia shaped Muslim attitudes to both who should be Caliph and whether the caliph needed to be responsible to the will of the people. In the modern period, these discussions have had a profound impact on how the relationship between Islam, politics and democracy have been conceived.
Rob Gleave is Professor of Arabic Studies and director of two research centers at the University of Exeter, UK: the Centre for the Study of Islam (CSI), and the International Institute for Cultural Enquiry (IICE). He is Principal Investigator on the Law, Authority and Learning in Imami Shi’ite Islam, a 5-year Advanced Award from the European Research Council. His research interests include Islamic legal theory, particularly legal hermeneutics, and the history of Shi’ite legal thought and institutions. Click here to see his principal publications. Among his most recent publications are the three-volume series on Violence in Islamic Thought published by Edinburgh University Press.
Presented by the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion with generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation