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Textbook

Islam in the Middle East: A Living Tradition

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1603-9
368 pages
August 2006, ©2006, Wiley-Blackwell
Islam in the Middle East: A Living Tradition (140511603X) cover image
This concise book offers a nuanced introduction to Islam in the Middle East. It presentsIslam as both a unified tradition of theological dogma and practices that transcends cultural differences and as a dynamic tradition that is historically informed, locally shaped, and continually reinterpreted.

  • Offers numerous ethnographic examples from the Middle East and North Africa
  • Explores key concepts, including the doctrinal foundations of Islam; the role of religious scholars; the five pillars; and Islamic “orthodoxy”
  • Includes discussion of spirit-possession cults as integral part of Islamic tradition
  • Introduces politics and current affairs as key elements in understanding contemporary Islamic discourse
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Acknowledgments.

Transliteration and Abbreviations.

Preface.

Introduction.

1. The Islamic Community through History.

2. The Foundations of Islamic Doctrine and the Community of Believers.

3. Authority and Knowledge.

4. The Five Pillars.

5. Islamic Mysticism.

6. Islamic Reformism.

7. Islamism: A General Overview.

8. Islamism at the Local Level.

Notes.

References.

Index

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G.P. Makris (PhD, London School of Economics and Political Science) is Assistant Professor of Social Anthropology at Panteion University, Athens.
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  • A concise introduction to the Islamic tradition as practiced
  • Offers numerous ethnographic examples from the Middle East and North Africa
  • Explores key concepts, including the doctrinal foundations of Islam; the role of religious scholars; the five pillars; and Islamic 'orthodoxy'
  • Includes discussion of spirit possession cults as integral part of Islamic tradition
  • Introduces politics and current affairs as key elements in understanding contemporary Islamic discourse
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"Makris gives a sensitive account of women's status in Muslim societies, their traditional and modern situations and rights, and criticizes the limited ethnocentric judgements of simplistic Western commentators, especially in the context of 'development.'" (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, September 2009)

"Books such as Islam in the Middle East remind us that academics can play a positive role in challenging the meanings that practitioners ascribe to the world’s religions and regions. Let us hope the book not only appears on university reading lists but that it also finds a way into the briefcases of politicians in London and Washington." (Times Higher Educational Supplement)

"Islam in the Middle East provides a comprehensive introduction to a living religious tradition that is currently at the centre of much international attention." (Journal of Social Anthropology)

"A serious and valuable contribution to the anthropology of the Middle East. As a textbook, it is both highly interesting and accessible. It is self-contained and comprehensive—essential reading for introductory students and general readers."
Dale F. Eickelman, author of The Middle East and Central Asia: An Anthropological Approach

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