Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Religious Practices: Preaching and Women Preachers: Iran
(734 words)

In Iran, as in other Muslim countries, women are largely excluded from the formal clerical hierarchy. Though most Shīʿī clerics agree that women can reach the rank of a mujtahid, a religious authority able to decide on religious matters, they cannot act as a “source of emulation” (marjaʿ al-taqlīd) for other believers. Women preachers also do not preach in front of men. Yet female preachers exercise great influence among their female followers. They lead rituals held by women at home, in a shrine, a mosque, or another religious building, whic…

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Kalinock, Sabine, “Religious Practices: Preaching and Women Preachers: Iran”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0615d>
First published online: 2009

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