This concise book offers a nuanced introduction to Islam in the Middle East. It presents Islam as both a unified tradition of theological dogma and practices that transcends cultural differences and as a dynamic tradition that is historically informed, locally shaped, and continually reinterpreted.
Offers numerous ethnographic examples from the Middle East and North Africa.
Explores key concepts, including the doctrinal foundations of Islam; the role of religious scholars; the five pillars; and Islamic â€œorthodoxyâ€
Includes discussion of spirit-possession cults as integral part of Islamic tradition.
Introduces politics and current affairs as key elements in understanding contemporary Islamic discourse.