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The Alid Imams as Authors (Dr Teresa Bernheimer)

Besides the many legal and religious traditions going back to the Shi‘ite Imams, early Islamic historiography also preserves a wide variety of other kinds of works ascribed to the Imams. They include a great variety of topics and genres, from sermons and sayings (best known is the Nahj al-Balāgha of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib), to poetry, to works on medicine (such as the Risālat al-dhahabīya by ʿAlī al-Riḍā), divination and astrology. The talk explores the context and reasons for ascribing particular works to the Imams, and the role these ascriptions played in the historical development of Shi‘ism.

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IAIS Building/LT1