Ḥadīth, the Shī‘a Cultural Memory: An Investigation of the Orientalists' Opinions on the Status of Ḥadīth and the Later Shī‘a Collections of Ḥadīth with an Emphasis on Rainer Brunner's Views

Document Type : Scholary


1 Assistant Professor, the Department of the Qur’ān and Ḥadīth Studies, Shāhid University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, the Department of the Qur’ān and Ḥadīth Studies, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran


One of the specialized Ḥadīth domains in the recent orientalist studies is the investigation of the reasons and factors of the appearance and advent of the Shī‘a Ḥadīths and the reason behind the Shī‘a followers and scholars in the learning and recording of the narrations and formation of "The Shī‘a cultural memory" in the later years and so, the advent of the "later narration collections". The first question of the study at hand regards the points and issues considered by them in studying and analyzing this cultural memory as well as the goals they pursued. In this regard, it is argued that this consideration has not been away from harms and incorrect conclusions, and so, in some cases it has challenged the origin and authenticity of Ḥadīth among the Shī‘a. Moreover, from among the main Ḥadīth cultural memories of the Shī‘a, the orientalist studies have mostly paid attention to Biḥār al-anwār. The extensive consideration of this work along with a criticism of it is the other question of this article. The article at hand presents and describes the main suggested orientalists' opinions regarding the two foregoing questions through an emphasis on Rainer Brunner's "The role of Ḥadīth as cultural memory in Shi'i history" so as to identify and analyze the discrepancies and commonalities of their thoughts.


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