عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
The principle of imamate, as the continuity of prophethood, is the preeminent principle of the Shias. The latter envisage imamate to be properly theological, and thereby as prefiguring politics. The philosophy of imamate delineates the Islamic social order, and the fact that it includes man’s existential dimension not only guarantees his worldly and otherworldly felicity, but explains the wisdom behind the universality of Islam. Imamate directly pertains to the nature of governments, their legitimacy, as well as their politico-religious status—alluding to the reality that politics arises from theology and can, on that account, be called political theology. Imamate is the continuity of the bond engendered between religion and politics and is the realization of God’s kingdom on earth as well as the legitimacy of man’s vicegerency of God. Religious rule is contingent upon the Imam, while obedience to the Imam becomes necessary so as to bring about the realization of his political leadership of society. The acceptance of this leadership by the people does not in any way affect the nature of imamate and the religious authority of the Imam—something which is a divine appointment. This is because the legitimacy of the Imam is contingent upon him being appointed by God and is conditional upon him being infallible; the latter is so that the goal for such appointment, which is complete obedience and following, can be achieved. Hence it becomes evident that imamate is one of the most pertinent topics of theology, and that it gives rise in every age to different consequences. Determining the place of imamate in the realm of theology has a decisive role to play in delineating these consequences and results.