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The Children of Time: The Aga Khan and the Ismailis

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From highland peasant farmers in Central Asia to Canadian industrialists, South Asian businessmen and Europe-based scholars, the Nizari Ismailis are one of the Muslim worlds most diverse Shia communities. With adherents living in more than twenty-five countries in Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America, they embrace peoples of widely different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The spiritual leadership of this highly dynamic community has in recent generations come to be known as the "Aga Khan." This book, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the present Aga Khans succession as Imam, or spiritual leader, of the Ismailis, assesses the achievements of his "Imamat" in modernizing the communities institutions and creating one of the worlds leading development agencies, the Aga Khan Development Network.

Chapters on Ismaili history and theology explain how Ismaili interpretations of Islam under the Fatimid Caliphs (909-1171) and their immediate successors laid the intellectual foundations for the reforms instituted by the present Imam and his immediate predecessor Aga Khan III (1885-1957), the international statesman and leader of Indias Muslims prior to World War II. Chapters on the Imamat of Aga Khan IV focus on achievements in architecture, conservation, health, education, rural development, and economic development, showing how his vision for the community and the network it sustains through charitable contributions is providing concrete, constructive solutions to problems of poverty, illiteracy, the status of women, and institutional under-development in Africa and Asia, including regions devastated by war, drought, malnutrition, government instability and high levels of seismic activity. The first study of the contemporary Ismaili community to have been authorized by the Harvard-educated Aga Khan, this book shows how a religious tradition rooted in a medieval theology that regarded ‘aql - intellect - as a primary aspect of divinity has succeeded in embracing the modern world without loss of faith or cultural identity.

Synopsis:

From highland peasant farmers in Central Asia to Canadian industrialists, South Asian buisinessmen and Europe-based scholars, the Nizari Ismailis are one of the Muslim worlds most diverse Shia communities. With adherents living in more than twenty-five countries in Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America, they embrace peoples of widely different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The spiritual leadership of this highly dynamic community has in recent generations come to be known as the "Aga Khan." This book, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the present Aga Khans succession as Imam, or spiritual leader, of the Ismailis, assesses the achievements of his "Imamat" in modernizing the communities institutions and creating one of the worlds leading development agencies, the Aga Khan Development Network. In the process, the book explores how the present Harvard-educated Aga Khan has attempted to preserve and build on a religious tradition rooted in medieval theology while at the same time embracing the modern world without loss of faith or cultural identity.

About the Author

Malise Ruthven is one of the leading writers on Islam in English and is the author of Islam in the World, A Fury for God: the Islamist Attack on America, Fundamentalism: A Very Short Introduction and several other highly praised books.

Gerard Wilkinson had a distinguished thirty-year career with the Aga Khan in Kenya, Italy and latterly with his secretariat in France, where he was head of public affairs.

Table of Contents

* Introduction: A Religion of Light * Emergence of the Hidden Imam * Emergence of the Hidden Imam * Aga Khan III: His Spectacular Public Career * Aga Khan III as a Community Leader * Aga Khan IV: The First 25 Years * Beyond Architecture * The Ismaili Jamat * The Pursuit of Excellence: Health and Education * "Listen to the Voices of the Poor": The Aga Khan Rural Support Programs and Their Offshoots * The Enabling Environment: Business and Development * GBAO and Beyond * Conclusion * Bibliography * Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781845117221
Author:
Ruthven, Malise
Publisher:
I. B. Tauris & Company
Author:
Wilkinson, Gerald
Author:
n, Gerald
Author:
Wilkinso
Author:
Ruthven, Malise
Subject:
REL037010
Subject:
Islam -- History.
Subject:
Islam - General
Subject:
Middle East - General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20150231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 pp color plates
Pages:
408
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

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History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Islam » History

The Children of Time: The Aga Khan and the Ismailis New Hardcover
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Product details 408 pages I. B. Tauris & Company - English 9781845117221 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

From highland peasant farmers in Central Asia to Canadian industrialists, South Asian buisinessmen and Europe-based scholars, the Nizari Ismailis are one of the Muslim worlds most diverse Shia communities. With adherents living in more than twenty-five countries in Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America, they embrace peoples of widely different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The spiritual leadership of this highly dynamic community has in recent generations come to be known as the "Aga Khan." This book, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the present Aga Khans succession as Imam, or spiritual leader, of the Ismailis, assesses the achievements of his "Imamat" in modernizing the communities institutions and creating one of the worlds leading development agencies, the Aga Khan Development Network. In the process, the book explores how the present Harvard-educated Aga Khan has attempted to preserve and build on a religious tradition rooted in medieval theology while at the same time embracing the modern world without loss of faith or cultural identity.

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