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Competing Visions of Community in Mediaeval Zaydī Yemen

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The Muṭarrifiyya was a popular religious movement in the northern highlands of Yemen in the years around 1000-1220 CE, perhaps best known for its opposition to two powerful Zaydī imams around the years 1150 and 1200 and the lively intellectual battle that these tensions engendered in the fields of theology and cosmology. This article takes a new and critical look at the formative years of the Muṭarrifiyya, questioning the assumption that it started with a theological dispute and rather arguing that there was already a form of “proto-Muṭarrifiyya” around the year 1000, existing as a loosely organised network of intellectuals engaging in common rituals, study circles, practices of hospitality and the collection and redistribution of zakāt.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences johann.heiss@oeaw.ac.at ; 2: Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences eirik.hovden@oeaw.ac.at

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2016-03-18
2018-09-19

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