The Rhetoric of Sobriety

Overview

Why does Islam condemn wine and other alcoholic beverages? The complexity behind this simple question is examined in The Rhetoric of Sobriety. Drawing on an array of revelatory, legal, historical, and exegetical materials (both Sunni and Shi'ite) from the early Islamic period, and contrasting them with comparable Judaic and Christian works from the same era, the author analyzes the rhetoric used to establish the proper authoritative boundaries that would contain wine's ambiguous nature. How believers chose to ...
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Albany, NY 2001 Cloth Fine in Printed Boards jacket 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. 179 pp. Tightly bound. Corners not bumped. Text is free of markings.

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Overview

Why does Islam condemn wine and other alcoholic beverages? The complexity behind this simple question is examined in The Rhetoric of Sobriety. Drawing on an array of revelatory, legal, historical, and exegetical materials (both Sunni and Shi'ite) from the early Islamic period, and contrasting them with comparable Judaic and Christian works from the same era, the author analyzes the rhetoric used to establish the proper authoritative boundaries that would contain wine's ambiguous nature. How believers chose to identify wine as a marginal substance and assert its prohibition offers a rare glimpse into the underlying intellectual strategies of early Muslim thought to resolve conflict, create meaning, structure the world, govern human behavior, and convey the divine message. Ultimately, this examination reveals some of the ways in which the early Islamic community created its identity, and asserted it over other confessional groups with similar convictions.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Drawing from revelatory, legal, historical, and exegetical documents from the Sunni and Shi'ite traditions, this book considers the Islamic condemnation of wine. Comparing the documents of the early period of Islam to Judaic and Christian works from the same era, Kueny (religious studies, Lawrence University) examines the rhetoric surrounding the proscription of wine, its marginalization and prohibition. This examination is used to elucidate the underlying strategies of conflict resolution, meaning construction, governance, spirituality, and identity, as they were present in early Muslim societies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
“The author’s approach in comparing the various forms of discourse on the issue of wine is original and compelling. She shows that wine is more than a prohibited or taboo object; how it is represented in the various forms of Islamic discourse says much about wine as an ambiguous issue for early Islam.” — Daniel Martin Varisco, Hofstra University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791450536
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Pages: 179
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathryn Kueny is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. 1 Qur'anic Vignettes of the Vine: Prophetic Discourse and the Signs for Those Who Know 1
Ch. 2 Finding the Perfect World: Analytic Discourse and the Quest for Order 25
Ch. 3 Links to a Sacred Past: Narrative Discourse and the Refining of Communal Identity 53
Ch. 4 A Brief Word on the Poetic Portrayal of Wine 89
Ch. 5 Wine and Mystical Utterance 105
Conclusions and Future Comparative Directions 117
Notes 125
Bibliography 161
General Index 173
Works Quoted 179
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