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Muted Modernists: the struggle over divine politics in Saudi Arabia

Analysis of both official and opposition Saudi divine politics is often monolithic, conjuring images of conservatism, radicalism, misogyny and resistance to democracy.

In her new book, Muted Modernists: the struggle over divine politics in Saudi Arabia, Madawi Al-Rasheed challenges this stereotype as she examines a long tradition of engaging with modernism that gathered momentum with the Arab uprisings and incurred the wrath of both the Saudi regime and its Wahhabi supporters.

Based on a plethora of texts written by ulama and intellectuals, interviews with important modernist interlocutors, and analysis of online sources, mainly new social media activism, Madawi Al-Rasheed debunks several academic and ideological myths about a country struggling to free itself from the straitjacket of predetermined analysis and misguided understandings of divine politics. She also challenges much of the scholarly received wisdom on Islamism in general, blurring the boundaries between secular and religious politics.

The book will be sold at the event at a discounted price.

Event Details

Speakers: Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed, LSE
Chair: Professor Toby Dodge, LSE
Date: Thursday 14 January 2016
Time:  18:00-19:30
Event Hashtag: #LSERasheed
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Attendance: Registration for this event is now closed.

Admission is on a first-come-first-served basis for those who register. Not everyone who registers attends our events, so to ensure a full house, we allow more registrations than there are places. Our events are very well attended, so please make sure you arrive early. We cannot guarantee entry.


Madawi Al Rasheed

Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at LSE and Research Fellow at the Open Society Foundation.  She was Professor of Anthropology of Religion at King’s College, London  between 1994 and 2013. Previously, she was Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. She also taught at Goldsmith College (University of London) and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.



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