Culture of Sectarianism Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon

ISBN-10: 0520218469
ISBN-13: 9780520218468
Edition: 2000
List price: $31.95 Buy it from $15.97
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Description: Focusing on Ottoman Lebanon, Ussama Makdisi shows how sectarianism was a manifestation of modernity that transcended the physical boundaries of a particular country. His study challenges those who have viewed sectarian violence as an Islamic  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 7/3/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 276
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Focusing on Ottoman Lebanon, Ussama Makdisi shows how sectarianism was a manifestation of modernity that transcended the physical boundaries of a particular country. His study challenges those who have viewed sectarian violence as an Islamic response to westernization or simply as a product of social and economic inequities among religious groups. The religious violence of the nineteenth century, which culminated in sectarian mobilizations and massacres in 1860, was a complex, multilayered, subaltern expression of modernization, he says, not a primordial reaction to it. Makdisi argues that sectarianism represented a deliberate mobilization of religious identities for political and social purposes. The Ottoman reform movement launched in 1839 and the growing European presence in the Middle East contributed to the disintegration of the traditional Lebanese social order based on a hierarchy that bridged religious differences. Makdisi highlights how European colonialism and Orientalism, with their emphasis on Christian salvation and Islamic despotism, and Ottoman and local nationalisms each created and used narratives of sectarianism as foils to their own visions of modernity and to their own projects of colonial, imperial, and national development. Makdisi's book is important to our understanding of Lebanese society today, but it also makes a significant contribution to the discussion of the importance of religious discourse in the formation and dissolution of social and national identities in the modern world.

List of Maps
Preface and Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration
Religion as the Site of the Colonial Encounter
The Gentle Crusade
Knowledge and Ignorance
The Faces of Reform
Reinventing Mount Lebanon
The Return of the Juhhal
The Devil's Work
"A Very Old Thing"
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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