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University of Oregon (Eugene, OR 97403-5219)
David Hollenberg (Project Director: December 2018 to present)
Mushegh Asatryan (Co Project Director: December 2018 to present)
Recovering Early Nusayri Shiism: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Manhaj al-‘ilm (The Method of Knowledge)

Preparation for publication of an English translation of the Manhaj al-‘ilm, a foundational text from the Nusayri tradition of Shia Islam, written in the 11th century in present-day Syria. (36 months)

The study of Nusayrism, a branch of Shiism derived from the tenth-century Levant that remains important until the present in Syria, is still in its infancy. We propose to edit and translate a key source to address this lacuna, the hitherto unpublished text by Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ‘Ismat al-Dawla (d. ca. 450/1058) entitled Manhaj al-‘ilm wa l-bayan wa-nuzhat al-sama’ wa l-‘iyan (The Method of Knowledge and Clarification and the Pleasure of Auditing and Witnessing). The only extant manuscript of this source is MS 43 in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library. When published, the Manhaj will be the most substantial Nusayri source available to recover the movement’s early history and thought. It will provide a key resource for a critical appreciation of Nusayrism in the history of Shiism and Islam, and, more broadly, the history of religion.

Project fields:
Arabic Literature; Religion, General

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Research Programs

$132,266 (approved)
$132,266 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2020 – 12/31/2022