Managing Karbala
Genealogies of Shiʿa humanitarianism in Pakistan, England, and Iraq
in Political theologies and development in Asia
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

Based on ethnographic fieldwork among charitable trusts in Pakistan and England, this chapter explores the complex genealogies of contemporary Twelver Shia humanitarianism. Moving away from the notion of linear genealogical connections between specific theologies and contemporary humanitarian practices, this chapter argues that the political theology underlying contemporary Shia humanitarianism is informed by the entanglement of diverse genealogical strands. These include reformulations of the ‘Muslim liberal’, the concept of ‘meritocracy’ deriving from managerial discourse, and memorialisations of the seventh-century Battle of Karbala as an inherently political-theological event. In sum, this chapter purports that – to do justice to the complexity of Shia humanitarianism – it is useful to move away from the notion that an a priori theological foundation underlies contemporary humanitarian work, and instead to think through multipolar and multidirectional interactions.