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Jewish identities in Iran : resistance and conversion to Islam and the Baha'i faith

Author: Mehrdad Amanat
Publisher: London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2011.
Series: Library of modern religion, 9.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
For minority faith groups living in nineteenth-century Iran, religious conversion to Islam - both voluntary and forced - was the primary means of social integration and assimilation. However, why was it that some Persian Jews instead embraced the emergent Baha'i Faith, which was subject to harsher persecution that Judaism? Mehrdad Amanat explores the conversion experiences of Jewish families during this time, and  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Mehrdad Amanat
ISBN: 9781845118914 184511891X
OCLC Number: 720572014
Description: xi, 279 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Contents: Introduction ----
1. The Jewish Presence in Pre-Islamic and Medieval Iran ---
2. Jewish Conversions in the Safavid and Early Qajar Periods ---
3. Emergence of the Baha'i Alternative ---
4. New Forms of Conversion ---
5. Uncertainty and Conviction: Early Examples of Conversion ---
6. Rayhan Rayhani: A Peddler Living Through Critical Times ---
7. Aqajan Shakeri: Miseries of a Jewish Life ---
8. The Hafez al-Sehheh Family: Privileges and Perils of Conversion.
Series Title: Library of modern religion, 9.
Responsibility: Mehrdad Amanat.

Abstract:

For minority faith groups living in nineteenth-century Iran, religious conversion to Islam - both voluntary and forced - was the primary means of social integration and assimilation. However, why was it that some Persian Jews instead embraced the emergent Baha'i Faith, which was subject to harsher persecution that Judaism? Mehrdad Amanat explores the conversion experiences of Jewish families during this time, and examines the fluid, multiple religious identities that many converts adopted. The religious fluidity exemplified in the widespread voluntary conversion of Iranian Jews to Baha'ism presents an alternative to the rejectionist view of religion that regards millennia of religious experience as inherently coercive, oppressive, rigidly dogmatic and a consistently divisive social force.

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