The Rhetoric of Sobriety

The Rhetoric of Sobriety

by Kathryn M. Kueny
     
 

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… See more details below

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

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
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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791450543
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
07/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
199
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

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

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