My Recent Paper in Shiite Studies Journal:

The Discursive Circumstances
of Composing Bahar al-Anvar
in the Safavid Era

Written by:

Sobhan Rezaee
Dr. Hesamoddin Ashna

A Quarterly for Shitte Studies
Volume 6, Number 4, Winter 2009

Any research on Bahar al-Anvar (a twenty-five volumes encyclopaedic collection of hadith, history of Islam and.. . by 'Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi) cannot be carried out without examining its social and historical background. In this paper, the social and historical environment in which such a cultural phenomenon was composed is examined. For this purpose, the social, political and religious structures of Iran under the Safavids, as well as 'Allama Majlisi's way of socialisation, his connections and political experiences are considered. Mujlisi's motive for writing the book, the structure of the book and the methodology used by him are also discussed, while his other writings and similar works by other contemporary authors are touched upon. It is argued that Majlisi in his official position as Sheikh ul-Islam, the superior religious authority in Iran under the Safavids, in order to help the state to expand and maintain its authority had to respond to a variety of audiences and prepaer such a complex collection of messages, which applied for legitimating the Safavid patterns of life.

Keywords: the Safavid state, Mohammad Baqir Majlisi, Bahar al-Anvar

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