“This article re-examines the use of the term naṣs, which since Marshall Hodgson has been used in modern historiography to refer to an indigenous Shīʿī mechanism of succession to the imamate. An alternative thesis is proposed here which situates the origins of the term in Shīʿī usage over the 8th to 11th centuries within the scholarly discourses of kalām and uṣūl al-fiqh. From the perspective of theological hermeneutics, classical Imāmī naṣṣ doctrines valorized revelatory specification (naṣṣ) of authority to the exclusion of opinion and interpretive effort (ijtihād). As is shown here, the elaboration of these doctrines was historically predicated on an attempt to explain the Shīʿī imamate as a solution to the problem of epistemological uncertainty in Islamic scholarship. This is illustrated with reference to Sunnī, Muʿtazilite, Zaydī, Imāmī, and Ismāʿīlī literature, documenting the earliest usage of the term naṣṣ within a broader intellectual milieu than has hitherto been the case.”
— Rodrigo Adem (Author) El Colegio de México.
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