Religion for Revolution: Shifting Perceptions of Bodily Ritual in the Lebanese Shi‘a Community

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Abstract

This paper applies Cartesian and Weberian theories of rationalization and Leslie Sharp’s concept of bodily commodification to the transition in the observance of Ashura from practices of bodily mortification to blood donation among the Shi‘a community in Lebanon. The author argues that this shift politicizes salvation and sacralises revolution through a process of rationalization, made possible through the invocation of the Karbala Paradigm, in order to facilitate the commodification of blood for political activism. This shift in ritual practice for the commodification of blood has occurred as a result of three key transitions: (i) from body/self-unity to body/self-dualism; (ii) from salvation in the next world to salvation in this world; and (iii) from personal salvation to societal salvation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAl-Jāmi‘ah: Journal of Islamic Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Note: This publication was not managed by Queen's University Belfast but by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

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