Morality and Religion in Ideology and Action

Patrick D. Gaffney

in The Prophet's Pulpit

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780520084711
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520914582 | DOI:
Morality and Religion in Ideology and Action

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In an effort to reconcile the alleged ideologically conceived null set of persons possessing religious prerogatives with the indisputable reality of variously accredited authoritative figures, this chapter formulates a three-fold typology of preachers depicted as specialists in three approaches to the transformation of charisma into everyday living. In the case of pre-modern urban, literate Muslim civilization, the most widely recognized formal religious specialists were designated as the “ulamā”, who formed a discrete class similar to a clergy. Increasingly in modern times, however, these positions have been taken over by centralized secular bureaucracies. Although some shaykhs carry on the tradition of the formal “ulamā”, the duties of most such figures are now centered on activities directly related to ritual leadership and instruction within the mosque.

Keywords: charisma; everyday living; religious prerogatives; mosque community; shaykhs; ulamā

Chapter.  4573 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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