Iraqi Shi’i Communities in Transition and Dialogue
Chapter 6 Shi‘i Sermons and Narratives
Introduction Thus far we have examined the political context that framed much of the popular discussion within the Iraqi Shi‘i community from 2003 until 2008. The context of war and occupation was the backdrop to all conversations and sermons. I now wish to examine the narratives that emerged from within the community as it ref lected on the reality of war, occupation and community building. I do this through examining some of the themes that emerged in the preaching within the community. By and large those preaching the sermons within the community sought to address the con- cerns and spiritual needs of the community, which were many and diverse. I have chosen nine sermons that best identify the narratives concerning life within the community during that period. Between November 2004 and March 2010 I attended prayers, meet- ings, majlis and gatherings at Dar Al Islam, Wilsden Green, London; the Al Kho‘ei Foundation, London; Abrar House, Edgware Road, London; the Imam ‘Ali Foundation, Brondesbury Park and the Ahul Bayt Centre, Milltown, Dublin. The sermons presented here are part of a larger research project comprising fifty-eight sermons undertaken at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin in 2011. In this chapter, I present five sermons as the qualitative data of my ref lection for analysis. These are representative of sermons that are preached throughout the years and many themes are repeated in the annual ritual cycle. I have picked these sermons because they were delivered in English and they...
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