Oral history of Religious Groups and a Great Neglect

Hamid Ghazvini
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian

2019-09-11


The ceremony held to honor Ashura, through ritual and non-religious rituals over the centuries, had always been the focus of Shiites and followers of Imam Hossein and his martyred companions in other religions. The followers of Sayyid al-Shohada (AS) have thus sought to preserve and develop the teachings, concepts, and religious and ethical values. This has had a profound connection with people's religion living and their identification. In the meantime, small and large groups with different backgrounds, where people gather with a variety of cultures and tastes, play a decisive role.

Despite this position, the history of mourning groups that welcome millions of people, who are volunteer and interested in religious and social activities, has remained neglected. In particular, many of the activists in these centers have kept their efforts unbeknown to others for the sake of avoiding showing off and popularity, and much of the information remains hidden. However, in recent decades, these groups have been closely associated with phenomena such as the Islamic Revolution and the Holy Defense, and despite numerous work in both fields, to date, with the exception of a few less-voluminous works, no considerable research into the history of mourning groups and their role in contemporary history developments has been done.

Obviously, recording the backgrounds and actions of religious groups is a kind of ethnography that, in addition to helping to compile history, records important experiences and ultimately it becomes a tool for understanding the evolution of these centers and their interactions with the political and cultural environment of society. Also, family, ethnic, local, and guild affiliations in some groups and their contributions to charities and the special features of mourning or welcoming people with different financial and management mechanisms have always been of interest to social science researchers.

Undoubtedly, oral history is the best way to record information related to the background of mourning groups and cultural institutions and research institutes or the authorities of these groups can conduct interviews and projects with the help of researchers and formation of oral history groups after taking scientific and professional preparatory steps. A work that has been delayed a lot and has caused a lot of damage.

In view of the above, the general aims of the oral history of the religious groups can be summarized as follows:

1- Collecting memories and information of founders and managers of religious groups

2- Preserving the spiritual heritage of society as one of the social, religious and cultural assets of the country

3. Recognizing the view and practice of the activists in this field and introducing them to society

4. Attempting to provide the necessary resources for researchers and scientific, cultural, social and artistic activists

5- Providing models that are accessible to the next generation in such activities

6. Recognizing and maintaining and promoting traditional practices in holding such religious rituals

7. Investigating and introduction to the role of literature and popular culture in reviving religious culture

8. Identifying the historical role of religious groups in contemporary political, social, and intellectual developments



 
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