Catalogue


Religion and folk cosmology : scenarios of the visible and invisible in rural Egypt /
el-Sayed el-Aswad.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2002.
description
xii, 206 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0897899245 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2002.
isbn
0897899245 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4768707
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [178]-195) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
el-Sayed el-Aswad is professor of anthropology and chair of the Department of Sociology, Tanta University (Egypt), and is also adjunct professor at Wayne State University and has taught at Oakland Community College in Michigan.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"El-Sayed el-Aswad is the foremost interpreter today of the rural Egyptian world view and of Egyptian folk life in general. His work is grounded in sophisticated theory and is methodologically solid....This is a work that will mark a turning point in our understanding of Egyptian culture and society." - Nicholas S. Hopkins Professor of Anthropology Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences American University in Cairo
"...[O]ffers a compelling and persuasive account of how the beliefs and practices of rural Egyptians dynamically shape and pervade their understandings of sacred texts, social memory, and Muslim traditions. El-Aswad's vivid narrative shows how women and men, young and old, the educated and the uneducated, and migrants and those who stay at home construct world views and ideas of cultural identity as intricate and pervasive as those of religious scholars and intellectuals, radical and conservative alike. El-Aswad's book, a must for understanding religion in Egypt today, also offers a necessary point of departure for understanding religious experience and the social imagination elsewhere in the Muslim world." - Dale F. Eickelman Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, Dartmouth College author, The Middle East and Central Asia: An Anthropological Approach
'œ[T]his is a great book for anyone interested in contemporary Egyptian culture. The descriptions are clear, well-argued and always interesting.'' Journal of American Folklore
"[T]his is a great book for anyone interested in contemporary Egyptian culture. The descriptions are clear, well-argued and always interesting."- Journal of American Folklore
'œ[T]his is an excellent and provocative book. It builds on el-Aswad's earlier articles, but exceeds them in range and sophistication. It provides an excellent contrast to more materialistic studies of Egyptian life. Particularly strong is the cross-referencing with other works on Egypt and the Arab world.'' Middle East Journal
"[T]his is an excellent and provocative book. It builds on el-Aswad's earlier articles, but exceeds them in range and sophistication. It provides an excellent contrast to more materialistic studies of Egyptian life. Particularly strong is the cross-referencing with other works on Egypt and the Arab world."- Middle East Journal
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Provides a holistic interpretation of the interplay between religion and folk cosmology, challenging the stereotypes that relegate traditional people to backwardness and a peripheral space or locality. Within this Muslim society the global/local nexus is one of ongoing creative integration, not separation. The cosmology can best be understood in the context of its totality, encompassing both visible and invisible zones. Muslims articulate personal or private order as well as social order within their cosmology. This cosmological view, endowing people with a unique imaginative sense of engagemenet with a supraphenomenal reality, accentuates the belief that divine cosmic invisible higher power surpasses any other power. Such a belief represents an inexhaustible source of spiritual and emotional empowerment that may be politically mobilized in certain critical moments and depicted as a religious, holy struggle, or jihad.
Main Description
This study refutes both the Western dominant paradigm of modernity and the Eurocentric stereotype of traditional Muslim culture, and demonstrates that rural Egyptians have their own paradigm of secular modernism that does not negate religious or sacred orientations. Islam is associated with ongoing attempts at religious purification and cultural unification and is inimical to cultural homogenization encouraged by Western globalization.
Long Description
This study refutes both the Western dominant paradigm of modernity and the Eurocentric stereotype of traditional Muslim culture, and demonstrates that rural Egyptians have their own paradigm of secular modernism that does not negate religious or sacred orientations. Islam is associated with ongoing attempts at religious purification and cultural unification and is inimical to cultural homogenization encouraged by Western globalization. Provides a holistic interpretation of the interplay between religion and folk cosmology, challenging the stereotypes that relegate traditional people to backwardness and a peripheral space or locality. Within this Muslim society the global/local nexus is one of ongoing creative integration, not separation. The cosmology can best be understood in the context of its totality, encompassing both visible and invisible zones. Muslims articulate personal or private order as well as social order within their cosmology. This cosmological view, endowing people with a unique imaginative sense of engagemenet with a supraphenomenal reality, accentuates the belief that divine cosmic invisible higher power surpasses any other power. Such a belief represents an inexhaustible source of spiritual and emotional empowerment that may be politically mobilized in certain critical moments and depicted as a religious, holy struggle, or jihad.
Table of Contents
Figures and Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Notes on Transliterationp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Village in a Sociocosmic Contextp. 22
The Cosmos: The Visible and the Invisiblep. 60
The Hierarchical Microcosm: Visible and Invisible Aspects of the Personp. 86
Symbolic Exchange, Gender, and Cosmological Forcesp. 109
Multiple Worldsp. 144
Conclusionp. 169
Bibliographyp. 178
Indexp. 196
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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