Based on two years of ethnographic research in the southern suburbs of Beirut, An Enchanted Modern demonstrates that Islam and modernity are not merely compatible, but actually go hand-in-hand. This eloquent ethnographic portrayal of an Islamic community articulates how an alternative modernity, and specifically an enchanted modernity, may be constructed by Shi'I Muslims who consider themselves simultaneously deeply modern, cosmopolitan, and pious. In this depiction of a Shi'I Muslim community in Beirut, Deeb examines the ways that individual and collective expressions and understandings of piety have been debated, contested, and reformulated. Women take center stage in this process, a result of their visibility both within the community, and in relation to Western ideas that link the status of women to modernity. By emphasizing the ways notions of modernity and piety are lived, debated, and shaped by "everyday Islamists," this book underscores the inseparability of piety and politics in the lives of pious Muslims.
Lara Deeb is a cultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the University of California, Irvine.
Acknowledgments vii Note on Language xi Part One: Encounters, Approaches, Spaces, Moments Introduction: Pious and/as/is Modern 3 Chapter One: Al-Dahiyya: Sight, Sound, Season 42 Chapter Two: From Marginalization to Institutionalization 67 Part Two: Living an Enchanted Modern Chapter Three: The Visibility of Religion in Daily Life 99 Chapter Four: Ashura: Authentication and Sacrifice 129 Chapter Five: Community Commitment 165 Chapter Six: Public Piety as Women's Jihad 204 Chapter Seven: The Pious Modern Ideal and Its Gaps 220 Glossary 233 References 235 Index 251