Download e-book for kindle: A New Anthropology of Islam by John R. Bowen

By John R. Bowen

ISBN-10: 0521822823

ISBN-13: 9780521822824

During this strong yet obtainable new examine John Bowen attracts on a whole diversity of labor in social anthropology to provide Islam in ways in which emphasise its constitutive practices, from praying and studying to judging and political establishing. beginning on the middle of Islam - revelation and studying in Arabic lands - Bowen indicates how Muslims have tailored Islamic texts and traditions to rules and prerequisites within the societies during which they reside. Returning to key case stories in Indonesia, Africa, Pakistan and Western Europe to discover each one significant area of Islamic non secular and social existence, Bowen additionally considers the theoretical advances in social anthropology that experience pop out of the research of Islam. a brand new Anthropology of Islam is key examining for all these attracted to the learn of Islam and for these following new advancements within the self-discipline of anthropology.

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The normative effect is twofold. First, electronic recording reduces the distance between an authentic performance somewhere in India and a re-performance in Mauritius because the aural word is directly “present,” as was Gabriel’s to Muhammad, Muhammad’s to his first listeners, and so on. The isnad is foreshortened or telescoped, and the likelihood of error is proportionally reduced. Second, retaining unvarying vocal techniques (principally in the manner of pronouncing Urdu) provides additional assurances that the singers will faithfully reproduce the original performance.

Throughout the Islamic world, learning in formal settings has combined in different ways these two activities: memorizing texts and learning from commentaries. The Yemeni method stands between the great emphasis on Qur’an memorization (for example in older Moroccan schools; Eickelman 1985) and the focus on abilities to engage in debate (for example in Iranian seminaries; Mottahedeh 1985). Students also made their own manuscript copies of the texts being studied in order to memorize and discuss meanings on their own; as with the transmission of Prophetic traditions, writing acted as a material support to the privileged oral forms of knowing and learning.

Most widely mentioned is having the right intention (niyya). On a number of occasions, Muhammad is reported to have emphasized the importance of intention. ” For example, if one were to sleepwalk through the cycles, one would not have worshipped. But what about the daydreamer? How much can your mind wander without canceling the merit of the worship itself? 45 A New Anthropology of Islam Such matters might seem trivial, but in fact they get to the heart of what it is to worship. Is it simply running through the mechanics, or communicating with God?

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A New Anthropology of Islam by John R. Bowen


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