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New Medieval Books: Caliphate and Imamate

Caliphate and Imamate: An Anthology of Medieval Muslim Texts on Political Theology

Edited and translated by Hassan Ansari and Nebil Husayn

Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-1-316-64973-2

Translations of seven texts written between the eleventh and thirteenth century by Islamic writers that deal with politics and theology. They examine questions about who has political authority and why, whether they be Caliphs or Imams.


Rather than focusing on the often contentious debates between Sunnis and Shi’is concerning the best Companion to succeed the Prophet, this book focuses on the the issue of the theological functions and requisites of a legitimate caliph. In the chapters that follow, we have sought to translate texts that discuss a school’s doctrines concerning the office without delving into contested historiography or polemics about specific personalities.


Who is this book for?

This book will be of use for the studying Islamic theology or medieval political thought. The texts themselves are a little difficult to understand without some knowledge of Islamic history, but they offer medievalists an interesting way view of how religion and politics comes together.

The editors

Hassan Ansari is a Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Nebil Husayn is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami.


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