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Putting Islam To Work

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Overview

The development of mass education and the mass media have transformed the Islamic tradition in contemporary Egypt and the wider Muslim world.
In Putting Islam to Work, Gregory Starrett focuses on the historical interplay of power and public culture, showing how these new forms of communication and a growing state interest in religious instruction have changed the way the Islamic tradition is reproduced.

During the twentieth century new styles of religious education, based not on the recitation of sacred texts but on moral indoctrination, have been harnessed for use in economic, political, and social development programs. More recently they have become part of the Egyptian government's strategy for combating Islamist political opposition. But in the course of this struggle, the western-style educational techniques that were adopted to generate political stability have instead resulted in a rapid Islamization of public space, the undermining of traditional religious authority structures, and a crisis of political legitimacy. Using historical, textual, and ethnographic evidence, Gregory Starrett demonstrates that today's Islamic resurgence is rooted in new ways of thinking about Islam that are based in the market, the media, and the school.

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Editorial Reviews

American Anthropologist
“Starrett has cleared new analytical ground on which unorthodox and critically disorienting approaches to Islam can be developed.”
American Ethnologist
“Provocative discussion. . . . Provides a framework for analyzing religious manifestations of modernity which reaches far beyond the confines of religious schooling, Egypt, and, Islam.”
The Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute
“Unlike most of the prevailing literature on this issue, [this book] offers refreshing, innovative, and provocative insights and analyses.”
Political Science Quarterly
“Readers . . . cannot but be struck by the keen intelligence, subtlety, and insight that pervade Starrett's book.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520209275
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/1998
  • Series: Comparative Studies on Muslim Societies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Starrett is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Creating an Object 3
2 Education and the Management of Populations 23
3 The Progressive Policy of the Government 62
4 Learning about God 89
5 The Path of Clarification 126
6 Growing Up: Four Stories 154
7 State of Emergency 191
8 Broken Boundaries and the Politics of Fear 220
Notes 249
Bibliography 287
Index 303
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