A History of the "party of God"

eBook - 2012
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Harvard University Press

For thirty years, Hezbollah has played a pivotal role in Lebanese and global politics. That visibility has invited Hezbollah’s lionization and vilification by outside observers, and at the same time has prevented a clear-eyed view of Hezbollah’s place in the history of the Middle East and its future course of action. Dominique Avon and Anaïs-Trissa Khatchadourian provide here a nonpartisan account which offers insights into Hezbollah that Western media have missed or misunderstood.

Now part of the Lebanese government, Hezbollah nevertheless remains in tension with both the transnational Shiite community and a religiously diverse Lebanon. Calling for an Islamic regime would risk losing critical allies at home, but at the same time Hezbollah’s leaders cannot say that a liberal regime is the solution for the future. Consequently, they use the ambiguous expression “civil but believer state.”

What happens when an organization founded as a voice of “revolution” and then “resistance” occupies a position of power, yet witnesses the collapse of its close ally, Syria? How will Hezbollah’s voice evolve as the party struggles to reconcile its regional obligations with its religious beliefs? The authors’ analyses of these key questions—buttressed by their clear English translations of foundational documents, including Hezbollah’s open letter of 1985 and its 2009 charter, and an in-depth glossary of key theological and political terms used by the party’s leaders—make Hezbollah an invaluable resource for all readers interested in the future of this volatile force.

Hezbollah’s revolutionary role in global politics has invited lionization and vilification, rather than a clear-eyed view of its place in history. Now that the party is in power, how will Hezbollah reconcile its regional obligations with its religious beliefs? This nonpartisan account offers insights that Western media have missed or misunderstood.

Baker & Taylor
Explores the history of Hezbollah as a political and religious force and their current and future role in the Lebanese government.

Book News
Avon (modern history, U. du Maine, France) and Khatchadourian (a doctoral candidate at U. du Maine) provide a nuanced examination of the history of the Lebanese political-religious group Hezbollah from its origins in the context of the Lebanese Civil War to the present. They avoid treating Hezbollah as a monolithic group and examine contradictions between the group's rhetorics of "revolution" and "resistance," between the group's goal of creating an Islamic society and its more pragmatic recognition of the religious diversity of Lebanon, and between their ostensibly revolutionary ambitions and their current position within the government of Lebanon, among other key questions. Avon and Khatchadourian also present translations of key documents, including the foundational "Open Letter" of 1985 and the political charter of 2009. In addition, they include appendixes offering information on key figures and notable terms. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2012
ISBN: 9780674067523
Characteristics: 1 online resource (256 pages)


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