The Islamic Middle East: Tradition and Change / Edition 2by Charles Lindholm
Recent world events have produced an outpouring of books on the Middle East. There are, however, few syntheses available by anthropologists---the very individuals who have long been immersed in the study of this region and its peoples. In The Islamic Middle East: Tradition and Change, noted anthropologist Charles Lindholm offers readers a rare,/i>/b>… See more details below
Recent world events have produced an outpouring of books on the Middle East. There are, however, few syntheses available by anthropologists---the very individuals who have long been immersed in the study of this region and its peoples. In The Islamic Middle East: Tradition and Change, noted anthropologist Charles Lindholm offers readers a rare, thought-provoking account of the origins, nature, and evolution of Islam and provides a historical perspective vital to understanding the contemporary Middle East.
Lindholm argues that much of the West, and the United States in particular, shares fundamental values with the Middle East – values that have fueled dispute but could also provide a basis for dialogue. He boldly seeks to reconcile widely touted negative attitudes toward blacks, slaves, and women-which have been reified in many Middle Eastern cultures-with Islamic belief in the equality of all humans. Arguing that the Middle East is characterized by a pervasive ethic of equality and individualism, much like the United States, this book considers the painful paradox of egalitarian peoples living under despotic regimes as well as the present prospects for resistance to authority and emancipation from tyranny. Written with verve and wit, The Islamic Middle East provides a rare opportunity for understanding.
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations.
Part I: Introduction:.
1. The Middle East: Assumptions and Problems.
Part II: Preconditions for Egalitarian Individualism:.
2. Ways of Living.
3. Traditions of Authority and Freedom.
4. The Social Construction of Egalitarianism.
Part III: State and Society: Prophets, Caliphs, Sultans and Tyrants:.
5. The Prophetic Age.
6. Early Struggles for Authority.
7. Sacred and Secular Rulers.
8. Novelties and Continuities.
Part IV: Sacred Power: Reciters, Lawyers, Incarnations and Saints:.
9. The Essentials of Islam.
10. Recapturing the Sacred Past: The Power of Knowledge.
11. The Partisans of Ali.
12. Sufism in Practice.
13. The Contradictions of Saintly Authority.
Part V: Dilemmas of Subordination:.
14. Slaves, Eunuchs and Blacks.
15. The Ambiguities of Women.
16. Escapes from Distinction: Love and Friendship.
Part VI: Conclusion:.
17. Problems and Possibilities.
Chronology of Events.
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