Clifford Geertz: Islam Observed (1968)
Table of contents:
(0) "Preface", pp. V-XII;
(1) "Two countries, two cultures", pp. 1-22;
(2) "The classical styles", pp. 23-55;
(3) "The scripturalist interlude", pp. 56-89;
(4) "The struggle for the real", pp. 90-118;
(5) "Bibliographical note", 119-132;
(6) "Index", pp. 133-136.
William D. Schorger, American Anthropologist, Feb 1970, vol. 72, no. 1, pp. 123-124.
Ashford, Douglas E.. American Journal of Sociology, Nov1969, Vol. 75 Issue 3, p424-425, 2p
Gustafson, Paul M.; Jantzen, Carl R.. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Fall69, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p363-365, 2p
Firth, Journal of Asian Studies:
"This is the kind of book Max Weber might have written studying oriental societies at first hand instead of from the literature. Brilliant, forceful, with an eve for the balanced antithesis, rich in generalization, it should keep students of Asian societies and of comparative religion busy for a long lime."
E. Ashford, American Journal of Sociology:
"In four brief chapters," writes Clifford Ceertz in his preface. "I have attempied both to lay out a general f lamework for the comparative analysis of religion and to apply it to a study of the development of a supposedly singit? creed, Islam, in two Q^ufte contrasting civilizations, the Indonesian and the Moroccan."
Mr. Geertz begins his argument by outlining the problem conceptually and providing an overview of the two countries. He then traces the evolution of their classical religious styles which, with disparate settings and unique histories, produced strikingly different spiritual climates. So in Morocco, the Islamic conception of life came to mean activism, moralism, and intense individuality, while in Indonesia the same concept emphasized aesthetic ism, inwardness, and the radical dissolution of personality. In order to assess the significance of these interesiing developments, Mr. Geertz sets forth a series of theoretical observations concerning the social role of religion.
"Geertz writes with clarity and charm on an immensely complicated and ambitious subject. Mis work is rooted in rhe comparative religious views of the fundamental social theorists and their progenitors, but has a lucid iiy and persuasiveness that few cif them have achieved. ... Those of us interested in radical protest and revolutionary action abroad, and sharing these concerns (or our own society, would do well to examine Geertz's work carefully. The analysis of how symbols interact to structure individual existence and social events has wide application in con temporary society.
Those who would like a highly readable and suggestive analysis of this kind should study Geerlz's book."