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Ismaʿili ModernGlobalization and Identity in a Muslim Community$
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Jonah Steinberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834077

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899458_steinberg

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Fluid Cartographies: Ismaʿili Institutions in Global Context

Fluid Cartographies: Ismaʿili Institutions in Global Context

(p.59) Chapter Two Fluid Cartographies: Ismaʿili Institutions in Global Context
Ismaʿili Modern

Jonah Steinberg

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the importance of the construction of common institutions in the unification and consolidation of disparate communities under a single Isma'ili banner. These institutions provide the basis for a shared experience despite diverse cultural backgrounds and help develop a sense of commonality or “simultaneity.” They also provide a set of “publicly shared symbols” around which the community can rally. Beyond this, the institutions provide a vehicle to bring those distant communities into the fold of the imamate; to socialize them to ideologies of modernity and capitalism; to teach them how to be Isma'ili in a modern way, or modern in an Isma'ili way; to ensure their active, loyal, and enthusiastic participation; and to produce from a fragmentary constellation a unitary ecumene or polity. In these global institutions, in part, Isma'ili subjects are made Isma'ili.

Keywords:   common institutions, disparate communities, Isma'ili banner, shared experience, diverse cultural backgrounds, sense of commonality

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