Brian’s Coffeehouse: Tales of Ibn Saba

The book Brian is talking about sounds fascinating. His last paragraph is important for understanding the transformation that is taking place in Islamic studies regarding the place of Shi’ism.

Brian’s Coffeehouse: Tales of Ibn Saba.

Anthony’s book, together with Najam Haider’s work showing that there were distinct Shi’ite practices in Kufa in the early 700’s, makes 2011 an important year in the growth of our understanding of what the sectarian landscape was like in Islam’s first century, as well as how it was articulated and how it slowly evolved into the more established Sunni and Shi’i Islam of the 800’s.  Both Anthony’s and Haider’s works are landmarks in their use of tradition critical methods to understand the formation of our primary sources for the time period, and hence using them to reveal something of what it was like.