Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2010


This thesis examines the role of charismatic religious leadership in Iran’s two Shi’ite revolutions. Included within the larger arguments of this work, are sections addressing the scholastic categorizations of charisma, the development of the Shi’i Islamic tradition, and they way in which the charisma of the was appropriated by later Shi’i figures to bring about social, political, and religious revolutions in Iran. For this work, Shah Isma’il ibn Haydar and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini serve as examples of charismatic Shi’i figures that drew upon the suspended charisma of the Shi’i Imams. This work also briefly comments on events in contemporary Iran in order to provide insight into the future of revolutionary Iran.