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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book titled The Messiah of Shiraz contains the table of contents, foreword, preface to the 1979 thesis, preface to the published edition, acknowledgements, list of abbreviations and glossary. The 19th century saw an enormous shift in the authority structure of Iranian and Iraqi Twelver Shiʼism, with the victory of a theological school (Usulism) that stressed the power of the clergy. The book is in two parts: a study of how Shaykhism bifurcated into a form close to orthodoxy next to the highly unorthodox Babi movement. Part two examines how Babism changed after the death in 1850 of its founder, the Bāb.

Keywords: Babism; Shaykhism; The Messiah of Shiraz

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