This concise book offers a nuanced introduction to Islam in the Middle East. It presentsIslam 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 orthodoxy
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