Dr Harith Al-Qarawee

Dr Harith Al-Qarawee

The seminar focused on Shi’i clerical authority in Iraq and its transformations in relation to the state weakness and transnational dynamics. In the pre-modern Iraq, Shi’i clerical authority has evolved as a largely autonomous tradition that played several roles associated with the social and political orders. Modernization and secularization have influenced those roles and generated new dynamics both within this authority and in terms of its relationship with society. In the last four decades, there were two major transformations that have deeply re-shaped clerical authority and clerical politics in Shi’ism: the Islamic revolution in Iran and the occupation of Iraq. The seminar offered some explanations on those dynamics and the future trajectories in the sociopolitical roles of Shi’i clerical authority in Iraq.