The University of Wisconsin Press

Middle Eastern Studies / Ethnicity & Religion / Anthropology


Debating Muslims
Cultural Dialogues in Postmodernity and Tradition
Michael M. J. Fischer and Mehdi Abedi

New Directions in Anthropological Writing

"An important reader for the serious student of modern Muslim society."Library Journal

"An engaging and illuminating account of Islamic culture in the Middle East and in the West. . . . The word 'ethnography' can hardly describe the many subjects this book broaches, from a seductive account of Abedi's passage to America from a small village near Yazd, Iran, to an illuminating discussion of crucial Islamic practices such as the Qur'an and the hajj, to inquiries into the 'autographics' of Islamic popular art in Iran."—Ali Behdad, International Journal of Middle East Studies

In a world of multinational commerce, satellite broadcasting, migration, terrorism, and global arms dealing, what is said and how it is said in one society can no longer be isolated from what is said and how it is said in another. Debating Muslims focuses on Iranian culture, Shi'ite Islam, and Iranians in the United States, offering an experiment in postmodern ethnography and an invitation to think in a multifaceted way about Islam in the contemporary world.

"Describes a modern culture torn apart by the conflict of resurging Islamic fundamentalism and emerging secular intellectualism. . . . Debating Muslims is an important reader for the serious student of modern Muslim society, as it explores daily life inside Iran and in exile, politics intertwined with religion, multiple voices of Islamic ideology, and media graphics and the Rushdie phenomenon."—Library Journal

Michael M. J. Fischer is professor of anthropology and director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mehdi Abedi is research associate in the Anthropology Department at Rice University, where he teaches and lectures on Islam and Iran.

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Cover image of Debating Muslims

Back in print
May 2002

LC: 89-040531 BP
600 pp.   6 x 9     
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Paper $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-12434-2
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