October 3, 2014
This conference is closed to the public.
Malika Zeghal’s book, Sacred Politics: The State and Islam in the Contemporary Middle East, illuminates the modern state’s ineluctable engagement with religion and its consequences by reflecting on several varieties of authoritarian religious establishments in the contemporary Middle East. Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan—the post-colonial authoritarian states of the Arab Middle East—have sponsored and controlled Islam and have acted as theological actors with the help of the official ulama. This was, in fact, the continuation of a process of legal transformations that started in the nineteenth century, much earlier than the emergence of nationalism.
Faculty Associate. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.