Sacred Language, Ordinary People: Dilemmas of Culture and Politics in Egypt

Sacred Language, Ordinary People: Dilemmas of Culture and Politics in Egypt

by N. Haeri
ISBN-10:
0312238975
ISBN-13:
9780312238971
Pub. Date:
02/24/2003
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
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Overview

Sacred Language, Ordinary People: Dilemmas of Culture and Politics in Egypt

The cultures and politics of nations around the world may be understood (or misunderstood) in any number of ways. For the Arab world, language is the crucial link for a better understanding of both. Classical Arabic is the official language of all Arab states although it is not spoken as a mother tongue by any group of Arabs. As the language of the Qur'an, it is also considered to be sacred. For more than a century and a half, writers and institutions have been engaged in struggles to modernize Classical Arabic in order to render it into a language of contemporary life. What have been the achievements and failures of such attempts? Can Classical Arabic be sacred and contemporary at one and the same time? This book attempts to answer such questions through an interpretation of the role that language plays in shaping the relations between culture, politics, and religion in Egypt.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312238971
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 02/24/2003
Edition description: 2003
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.02(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Humble Custodians of the Divine Word: Classical Arabic in Daily Life Text Regulation and Site Ideology Creating Contemporaneity: Struggles with Form Persistent Dilemmas: Pleasure, Power, and Ambiguity Conclusion

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