Dr Harith Al-Qarawee: Shi’i Clerics and the Transformation of Authority in Iraq
The seminar focuses 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 offeres some explanations on those dynamics and the future trajectories in the sociopolitical roles of Shi’i clerical authority in Iraq.
Dr Harith Al-Qarawee was research fellow at Brandeis University. He had been a fellow at Harvard University prior. Dr Al-Qarawee’s current research interests deal with authority, religion and identity politics in the Middle East, and with the reconfiguration of religious institutions more specifically. He has published dealing with themes of sectarianism, identity politics, Iraq’s system of government, Daesh and Shi’a political and religious groups. He was a member of the working group on religion and identity, as part of the Atlantic Council’s Task Force for the Middle East and a member in the Atlantic Council’s Task Force for the future of Iraq.