In Varieties of Muslim Experience, anthropologist Lawrence Rosen explores aspects of Arab Muslim life that are, at first glance, perplexing to Westerners. He ranges over such diverse topics as why Arabs eschew portraiture, why a Muslim scientist might be attracted to fundamentalism, and why the Prophet must be protected from blasphemous cartoons. What connects these seemingly disparate features of Arab social, political, and cultural life? Rosen argues that the common thread is the importance Arabs place on the negotiation of interpersonal relationships—a link that helps to explain actions as seemingly unfathomable as suicide bombing and as elusive as Quranic interpretation.
Written with eloquence and a deep knowledge of the entire spectrum of Muslim experience, Rosen’s book will interest not only anthropologists and Islamicists but anyone invested in better understanding the Arab world.
University of Chicago Press; September 2008
- ISBN 9780226726182
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Varieties of Muslim Experience
- Author: Lawrence Rosen
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
In The Press
"Rosen tackles such issues as Arab ideas of justice, human rights, reading the Koran in the West, representations of the Prophet. . . . A provocative, elegantly written book on which to ponder."
"Lawrence Rosen's eloquent new book, Varieties of Muslim Experience does offer the well-read reader a fascinating persperctive on what Rosen sees as the central themes of 'Arab culture,' woven together from stories, anecdotes, and closely observed examples from anthropological and other literature. . . . Rich in profound and thought-provoking ideas, Rosen's book is highly recommended."—Anthropological Quarterly
— Carl Davila, Anthropological Quarterly
About The Author
Lawrence Rosen is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and the author of many books, including Bargaining for Reality and The Culture of Islam, both published by the University of Chicago Press.