Calligraphic State Textual Domination and History in a Muslim Society

ISBN-10: 0520205154
ISBN-13: 9780520205154
Edition: 1996
List price: $33.95 Buy it from $29.03
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Description: In this innovative combination of anthropology, history, and postmodern theory, Brinkley Messick examines the changing relation of writing and authority in a Muslim society from the late nineteenth century to the present. The creation and  More...

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Book details

List price: $33.95
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 6/16/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 354
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

In this innovative combination of anthropology, history, and postmodern theory, Brinkley Messick examines the changing relation of writing and authority in a Muslim society from the late nineteenth century to the present. The creation and interpretation of texts, from sacred scriptures to administrative and legal contracts, are among the fundamental ways that authority is established and maintained in a complex state. Yet few scholars have explored this process and the ways in which it changes, especially outside the Western world. Messick brings together intensive ethnography and textual analysis from a wealth of material: Islamic jurisprudence, Yemeni histories, local documents. In exploring the structure and transformation of literacy, law, and statecraft in Yemen, he raises important issues that are of comparative significance for understanding political life in other Muslim and nonwestern states as well.

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Authority
Genealogies of the Text
The Pen and the Sword
Disenchantment
Transmission
Audition
The New Method
Print Culture
Interpretation
Relations of Interpretation
Sharia Society
Judicial Presence
Court Order
Inscription
Evidence of the Word
Spiral Texts
Conclusion
Biographical Guide
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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