Spiritual Love and Sacred Suffering: Mimetic Theory from Shī‘ah Perspective

  • Habibollah Babaei


The chapter attempts a way of discussing interdividuality relations which is complementary or even alternative to Girard’s Mimetic Theory. This is centered on the concept of ta‘āruf, or knowledge of the other which makes for a shared love, rather than rivalry. Based on empathy for the sufferings of the beloved other, this ideal is the opposite of the false peace generated by the scapegoat process as described by Girard. The Shia approach, here associated with the Tabātabāı school, is similar to Girard in that it looks for conflict resolution ‘from beyond’ the group. Insights from Murtizā Mutahharı are used, regarding the ‘two selves’ of the human being: the exclusive self is to be controlled and the inclusive spiritual self to be developed. The Arbaeen Walk, commemorating the sacrifice of Husayn ibn Alı, is a practical expression of the ideals being described here.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Habibollah Babaei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Islamic Studies on Civilization and CultureIslamic Science and Culture Academy (ISCA)QomIran

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