Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Directions of work or proceedings

Najaf:Portrait of a Holy City

Abstract : Najaf: Portrait of a Holy City examines the historical and social aspects of one of Iraq s most important cities, a centre of religious learning and devotion for the Shi'i world since medieval times. Thirteen original contributions by Iraqi and international scholars present several key perspectives on the history and development of the city, its global spiritual and educational prominence and its modern role as an economic and political centre. The essays in this book cover topics such as Najaf s architecture and urban design including the spectacular Imam Ali Shrine and the vast Wadi al-Salam Cemetery as well as the preservation of its built environment; the influence of political and social movements in the city (such as the 1920 revolt and the role of communism in the mid-twentieth century); the impact of pilgrimage to Najaf and the Ashura commemoration; religious authority in the city, both historical and embodied in the present day by its ayatollahs, imams, maraji' and the scholars of the hawza, Najaf's famed seminary; and the city's intellectual development through the ages, which has resulted in an abundance of libraries. This book fills a serious gap in the literature on this sacred site for the global Shiii community itself a subject of renewed interest amongst academics and the general public.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Sabrina Mervin <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 3:07:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 3:11:39 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01864211, version 1



Sabrina Mervin, Robert Gleave, Geraldine Chatelard. Najaf:Portrait of a Holy City. France. Ithaca Press, Unesco Publishing, 2017, 978-0863725760, 0863725767. ⟨halshs-01864211⟩



Record views