Hassan Nasrallah Ashura Speeches: The thin line between Ethics and Identity


Saade B (2019) Hassan Nasrallah Ashura Speeches: The thin line between Ethics and Identity. Die Welt des Islams, 59 (3-4), p. 384–410.

The Lebanese political organization Hizbullah has developed its own style of commemorating ʿāshūrāʾ, the Shiʿi period of mourning in remembrance of the Battle of Karbalāʾ. Previous scholarship has analyzed Hizbullah’s ʿāshūrāʾ with prevailing conceptual binaries such as politics/religion, reason/tradition, or reason/emotion. This article challenges such binaries by looking at the series of speeches given by Hizbullah’s secretary general, Ḥasan Naṣrallāh, during the annual ʿāshūrāʾ rituals. Naṣrallāh’s oratory skills, and most importantly the careful structuring of the ten-day mourning event, show clearly that the production of reasoned arguments through speech involves the cultivation of intense emotions and states of consciousness. These are conducive not only to collective action and identity formation but also to ethical practices.

Religion; Party politics; Modernity; Ethics; Identity; Ritual

Die Welt des Islams: Volume 59, Issue 3-4

Publication date30/09/2019
Publication date online11/09/2019
Date accepted by journal11/09/2018
PublisherMiddle East Institute