National Politics and Global Mission

Michael Farquhar

in Circuits of Faith

Published by Stanford University Press

Published in print November 2016 | ISBN: 9780804798358
Published online May 2017 | e-ISBN: 9781503600270 | DOI:
National Politics and Global Mission

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This chapter traces the genesis and institutional evolution of the Islamic University of Medina from the time of its founding in 1961 and over the decades that followed. It maps the history of this key Wahhabi missionary project onto Cold War geopolitics, maneuvering between the Saudi royals and the Wahhabi establishment, efforts to bolster narratives of dynastic and national legitimacy, and shifts in the international oil economy. In doing so, it emphasizes the extent to which the transactions in material and spiritual capital which would occur on the IUM campus were influenced by Saudi politics and integrated with the kingdom’s own political economy.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia; Arab Cold War; Eisenhower Doctrine; King Saud; Jamal Abd al-Nasser; Iranian revolution; 1973 oil crisis

Chapter.  8289 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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