Twilight of the Saints: Everyday Religion in Ottoman Syria and Palestine

Hardcover | September 30, 2014

byJames Grehan

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In this study of everyday religious culture in early modern Syria and Palestine, James Grehan offers a social history that looks beyond conventional ways of thinking about religion in the Middle East. The most common narratives about the region introduce us to the separate traditions of Islam,Christianity, and Judaism, highlighting how each one has created its own distinctive traditions and communities. Twilight of the Saints offers a reinterpretation of religious and cultural history in two countries that are today associated with division and violence, by exploring everyday religioushabits of ordinary people from the late seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth century, when the region was still part of the Ottoman Empire. Grehan shows that members of different religious groups participated in a common, overarching religious culture that was still visible at the beginning ofthe twentieth century.Most obvious in the countryside, though present everywhere, this religious mainstream thrived in a society where few people had access to formal religious teachings. This older, folk religious culture was steeped in notions and rituals that the modern world, with its mainly theological conception ofreligion, has utterly repudiated. Only by uncovering this lost lived religion, argues Grehan, can we appreciate the largely unacknowledged revolution in religion that has taken place over the last century. As this book demonstrates, the people of Syria and Palestine today would hardly recognizereligion as it was experienced in the not-so-distant past.

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In this study of everyday religious culture in early modern Syria and Palestine, James Grehan offers a social history that looks beyond conventional ways of thinking about religion in the Middle East. The most common narratives about the region introduce us to the separate traditions of Islam,Christianity, and Judaism, highlighting how...

James Grehan is Associate Professor of History in Portland State University.

other books by James Grehan

Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:September 30, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199373035

ISBN - 13:9780199373031

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Religious Possibilities2. Magic Men3. A Religion of Tombs4. Sacred Landscapes5. Haunted Landscapes6. Blood and Prayer7. ConclusionAppendixNotesBibliographyIndex