Muted Modernists: The Struggle over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia

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Oxford University Press, Jan 2, 2015 - Political Science - 224 pages
Analysis of both official and opposition Saudi divine politics is often monolithic, conjuring images of conservatism, radicalism, misogyny and resistance to democracy. Madawi Al-Rasheed challenges this stereotype as she examines a long tradition of engaging with modernism that gathered momentum with the Arab uprisings and incurred the wrath of both the regime and its Wahhabi supporters. With this nascent modernism, constructions of new divine politics, anchored in a rigorous reinterpretation of foundational Islamic texts and civil society activism are emerging in a context where authoritarian rule prefers its advocates to remain muted. The author challenges scholarly wisdom on Islamism in general and blurs the boundaries between secular and religious politics.
 

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Contents

Divine Politics in a Profane World
1
1 Petitions and Protest on the Eve of the Arab Uprisings
31
2 Civil Society in an Authoritarian State
55
3 On Revolution
75
Debating Sharia in a Salafi Context
95
5 Deconstructing the Religious Roots of Authoritarianism
115
6 Democracy against the Islamisation of Repression
137
Islamist Modernism beyond Radical and Moderate Divides
157
Notes
165
Bibliography
183
Index
193
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About the author (2015)

Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at LSE and Research Fellow at the Open Society Foundation. She was Professor of Anthropology of Religion at King's College, London between 1994 and 2013. Previously, she was Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford

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