The Anthropology of Islam Reader
Edited by Jens Kreinath
Routledge – 2011 – 420 pages
The Anthropology of Islam Reader brings together a rich variety of ethnographic work, offering an insight into various forms of Islam as practiced in different geographic, social, and cultural contexts. Topics explored include Ramadan and the Hajj, the Feast of Sacrifice, and the representation of Islam. An extensive introduction and bibliography helps students develop their understanding of the variety of methodological and theoretical approaches involved in the anthropological study of Islam. In his selections, Jens Kreinath highlights the diversity of practices and themes that were formative for this field of study, making this essential reading for students of Islam at undergraduate and graduate level.
'This is without a doubt the finest collection of essays on the anthropology of Islam available today. Kreinath has brought together a set of path breaking theoretical texts with some of the richest ethnographic accounts of Muslim societies produced by anthropologists. The result is the strongest demonstration to date of anthropology’s unique contribution to our understanding of this religious tradition.' - Charles Hirschkind, University of California, Berkeley, USA
'This is a remarkable work that contains some of the classic and contemporary essays representing the ethnographic and conceptual issues within the anthropology of Islam arena. This fine collection will undoubtedly become the standard work for both research and teaching purposes. The volume provides an accessible sophisticated treatment of the field that will engage students and scholars who want to develop a more nuanced perspective and understanding of the Islamic world.' - Raymond Scupin, Lindenwood University, USA
'This book draws together a significant body of theoretical and ethnographic writing, providing detailed insight into the key epistemological and empirical questions being raised by scholars in the field… For any field-worker, whether undergraduate or beyond, this collection will no doubt constitute an invaluable resource in presenting a concise compendium of key theoretical and methodological discussions, which continue to be debated within the discipline.' - Rosalind Warden, Cardiff; The Muslim World Book Review, 33:2, 2013.
‘Jens Kreinath’s edited volume brings together key texts that help us understand and appreciate the anthropology of Islam – not as a set of fixed questions and methodologies but as a field of debates and arguments…[and] very effectively offers a sense of intertextuality as the authors frequently refer to each other’s work. It will become an indispensable resource for undergraduate teaching and a helpful reference text for graduate students.’ - Amira Mittermaier, Anthropos
“Kreinath…has edited the first Anthropology of Islam reader, whose selected texts include quite an impressive number of seminal anthropological studies that will undoubtedly become a very useful reference work and an essential pedagogical textbook for college and university students. Moreover, the texts included in this reader should enable readers to better understand the diversity of Muslim beliefs and practices and to nourish further theoretical and practical anthropological studies of the Islamic tradition.” -Roxanne D Marcotte, University of Quebec, Canada
“In Jens Kreinath’s edited volume, The Anthropology of Islam Reader, we find an important contribution to the anthropological literature on Islam and Muslims. The text reflects the editor’s well-trained eye for ritual analysis and does a good job of managing some of the key theoretical and methodological issues in the field.”- Michael Vicente Perez, University of Washington, USA
"Kreinath has compiled a very useful anthology that can both be used effectively in the classroom and read by non-specialists as a way of understanding Muslim life…[A]n important contribution to the continuing evolution of the discipline of anthropology and to the development of Islamic studies in the contemporary world." –John O. Voll, Georgetown University, USA
"Kreinath’s cumulative tome makes compelling reading for anyone wanting to expand their personal knowledge of Islamic societies, and will be a useful and valued asset to any library." –Abdullah Drury, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Toward the Anthropology of Islam: An Introductory Essay Part 1: Anthropological Approaches to Islam Conceptualizing Islam. Approaching Islam Part 2: Religious Practices of Islam Daily Prayers. Fasting During the Month of Ramadān. Pilgrimage to Mecca. Feast of Sacrifice. Almsgiving Part 3: Methodological Reflections on the Anthropology of Islam Situating Anthropology. Representing Islam. Glossary of Anthropological Terms. Glossary of Islamic Terms.
Jens Kreinath is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Wichita State University, USA.