Beyond Piety and Politics
Religion, Social Relations, and Public Preferences in the Middle East and North Africa
Published by: Indiana University Press
How do ordinary men and women in Muslim-majority societies create religion-informed views of political topics such as democracy and economics?
Beyond Piety and Politics provides a groundbreaking approach to understanding the depth and variety of political attitudes held by people who consider themselves to be pious Muslims. Using survey data on religious preferences and behavior, the authors argue for the relevance and importance of four outlook categories—religious individualist, social communitarian, religious communitarian, and post-Islamist—and use these to explore complex and nuanced attitudes of devout Muslims toward issues like democracy and economic distribution. They also reveal how intrafaith variation in political attitudes is not due simply to doctrinal differences but is also a product of the social aspects of religious association operating within political contexts.
By highlighting the dynamic societal and political implications of religious devotion, Beyond Piety and Politics offers a fascinating new theoretical perspective on Islam and politics.
List of Figures
1. Religious Communities, the State, and Religious Outlooks
2. Attitudes of the Devout: The Nature of the Substance or the Nurture of Relationship?
3. Empirical Foundations of Religious Outlooks
4. The Individual and Contextual Determinants of Muslim Religious Outlooks in MENA
5. Islam and Support for Democracy
6. Temporal Change in Religious Outlooks and Political Preferences
7. Islam and Distributive Preferences
Beyond Piety and Politics is an important contribution to the study of religion and politics. This well-written, carefully documented study nuances our understanding of religiosity by considering how religious groups' standings in society and vis-à-vis the state shape individuals' attitudes. It pushes the field to dismiss blunt conceptions of religiosity, focusing on how these groups navigate state and society.~Ellen Lust, University of Gothenburg
This is an excellent and sophisticated book that examines the sources of religious preferences and outlooks. It insightfully argues that communal associations shape religious outlooks and these outlooks influence political and social worldviews. The authors advance a nuanced and context-driven understanding of religion in the everyday lives of citizens in MENA.~Amaney A. Jamal, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University