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Shi’i worlds interrupted: waqf and pilgrimage in Russia’s South Caucasus (1863-1876)

Azarbadegan, Zeinab (2023) Shi’i worlds interrupted: waqf and pilgrimage in Russia’s South Caucasus (1863-1876). In: Kane, Eileen, Kirasirova, Masha and Litvin, Margaret, (eds.) Russian-Arab Worlds: A Documentary History. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 34 - 44. ISBN 9780197605769

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Identification Number: 10.1093/oso/9780197605769.003.0004


Russia’s early nineteenth-century conquest of the South Caucasus imposed new borders that, among other effects, disrupted regional Shi‘i Muslim religious networks. Drawing on documents from the Qajar imperial archives, the chapter reveals how tsarist expansion created new issues for the three empires that met in the region—the Russians, Ottomans, and Qajars—and their regulation of religious institutions and practices. The focus here is on revenue-generating endowments (waqfs) in Yerevan that had long helped sustain the holiest Shi‘i shrines in Ottoman-ruled Karbala and Najaf, and on Shi‘i pilgrimage to these holy sites. This focus on religious networks and practices illuminates some of the consequences of the Russian conquest for Shi‘is living in the South Caucasus, and intersections between religion and imperial diplomacy.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 Oxford University Press
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 23 May 2024 13:54
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 01:27

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