Islamic Society in Practice


By Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Pages: 191, Date: 1994-10
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0813013054

Written in the wake of the Gulf War, this book introduces the West to everyday Arab-Islamic culture and society, humanizing the region and its people. It ventures behind the headlines to offer a positive, constructive view of Islam and Muslims, showing how Islam is lived and practiced in daily life in the Sudan, Egypt, and Tunisia.

Islamic Society in Practice is both scholarly and personal, intended for classroom use and for a general audience. It examines Islamic society on a grassroots level, using the basic anthropological method of participant observation. It treats the major dimensions of Islamic society from the core elements of the religion (including the religious-social values it promotes) to the type of society it engenders, the laws that institutionalize social practice, and the contemporary movements for reform or restoration of Islamic precepts in individual nations.

Writing from the perspective of a sympathetic American woman, Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban discusses in depth the social dynamics of gender transformation and Islam, examining the complex issue as one more dilemma confronting societies that are struggling to cope with Western ways of thinking.

Fluehr-Lobban’s formal research and informal observations span the years 1970 to 1990, a time of dynamic change for the Arab and Muslim worlds. These decades took her from the life of a graduate student to that of a professor. With her husband and two daughters, she lived and conducted field research, traveling extensively in Africa and the Middle East. She conveys here the richness of her family experiences in their adopted communities, their deepening understanding of both Western and Islamic culture, and their growing appreciation for the Muslim "other" as a fellow human being.

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