We are excited to announce the launch of Visions, the online publication platform of the Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Our publication brings into dialogue cutting-edge research and advanced commentary on all aspects of Shi’a thought, politics, and society from visions of political order and grand strategy to visions of peace and acceptance within pluralistic multi-faith communities and of revelation, angels, and cosmological authority. Given the growing importance of global Shi’a communities, especially the resurgence of Shi’ism in the Middle East and South Asia, it is critical to embark upon a comprehensive study and understanding of Shi’a thought, identity, and its wide-reaching socio-political formations and transformations.
Visions provides an educational platform that bridges the dispersed field of Shi’a studies—from historical hagiography and philosophy to contemporary geopolitics and world affairs—into a leading source on the latest analysis on Shi’ism from an academic and scholarly perspective. While the study of Shi’ism is growing in academia, the field largely remains disjointed with an eclectic mix of disciplinary commitments that commonly do not engage in conversation with one another. We hope Visions constitutes an important step in addressing some of the shortcomings and disconnections in the field, enriching our understanding and discussions over these complex and interwoven subjects, and serving as a springboard for more advanced academic and scholarly research and publications.
We invite you to contribute and to submit ideas or articles on the study of Shi’ism and related research topics more broadly for consideration to be published here. Thank you, and we look forward to envisioning and witnessing the horizons that lie ahead.
Payam Mohseni, Ph.D.
Director of the Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs