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Isma'ili Modern
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Led by a charismatic European-based hereditary Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, global Isma'ili organizations make available an astonishing array of services--social, economic, political, and religious--to some three to five million subjects stretching from Afghanistan to England, from Pakistan to Tanzania. Steinberg argues that this intricate and highly integrated network enables a new kind of shared identity and citizenship, one that goes well beyond the sense of community maintained by other diasporic populations. Of note in this process is the rapid assimilation in the postcolonial period of once-isolated societies into the intensively centralized Isma'ili structure. Also remarkable is the Isma'ilis' self-presentation, contrary to common characterizations of Islam in the mass media, as a Muslim society that is broadly sympathetic to capitalist systems, opposed to fundamentalism, and distinctly modern in orientation. Steinberg's unique journey into remote mountain regions highlights today's rapidly shifting meanings of citizenship, faith, and identity and reveals their global scale.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Introduction: Beyond Territoriality
  2. pp. 1-32
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  1. One: Antecedents and Precursors: The Historical Contexts of Isma'ili Globalization
  2. pp. 33-58
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  1. Two: Fluid Cartographies: Isma'ili Institutions in Global Context
  2. pp. 59-86
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  1. Three: Universalizing Isma'ilism: Institutionalities of Devotion and Regimes of Standardization
  2. pp. 87-106
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  1. Four: Into the Fold: Himalayan Borderlands and Isma'ili Modernity
  2. pp. 107-142
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  1. Five: Living Globality: Local Modes of Transnational Experience
  2. pp. 143-192
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  1. Conclusion: Decoding Globality: Modern Isma'ilism and the Institutional Encounter
  2. pp. 193-210
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 211-218
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 219-230
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 231-234
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