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COLLECTIONPublished articles
TITLEImam Absconditus and the Beginnings of a Theology of Occultation: Imami Shiʿism Circa 280-290 A. H./900 A. D.
AUTHOR 1Said Amir Arjomand
TITLE_PARENTJournal of the American Oriental Society
ABSTRACTExamination of the end of the 9th century and events following the death of the eleventh Imam, and the formal beginnings of the doctrine of the "hidden" twelfth Imam. Contains no mention of the Bahá'í Faith.
NOTES Also later published in Sociology of Shi'ite Islam: collected essays (Brill, 2016).

See also the author's Consolation of Theology: Absence of the Imam and Transition from Chiliasm to Law in Shi'ism and Crisis of the Imamate and the Institution of Occultation in Twelver Shiism.

TAGS- Islam; Hidden Imam; Imams; Interfaith dialogue; Shiism; Twelfth Imam
The last quarter of the ninth century is the most obscure in the history of Imami Shicism-bedeviled as it is by confused and tendentious documentation. Following the death of the eleventh Imam with no offspring, it represents a period of severe crisis and yet, within it, are found the beginnings of a number of far reaching doctrinal and institutional trends which shaped Shicism permanently. Two im- portant documents are used as a window for viewing this critical period by focusing on the major rup- ture in the history of Shicism that marks its end: the cessation of communication between the Imam and his Shica and the formal acceptance of an Imam absconditus. From the historical point of view, this rupture is the decisive turning point that divides the historical Imamate from the era of occultation.
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