“The new Shi’a”? A study of the writings of Ahmad al-Katib

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Ahmad al-Katib is an Iraqi Shii dissident intellectual and an interesting voice in the religious, intellectual, social and political discourse of the Shiite world today. He is a fairly well-known figure in Shiite circles but is virtually unknown to western academic research. This paper examines al-Katib’s life and writings and attempts to understand how a devout Shii came to question the axioms upon which he was educated and raised. The doctrine of the Rule of the Jurisprudent is discussed, the criticism of it reviewed and al-Katib’s claims for it are evaluated. The ecumenical dialogue between Shia and Sunna in al-Katib’s writings is discussed and the theoretical and practical aspects of his approach are reviewed. This will be followed by a discussion of al-Katib’s “Shi’ite Manifesto”, and an examination of the problems in al-Katib’s thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-35
Number of pages31
JournalJournal for Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Journal for Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies. All rights reserved.


  • Ahmad al-Katib
  • Ecumenical dialogue
  • Imama
  • Rule of the Jurisprudent
  • Shiite Manifesto
  • Shura

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science

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