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Identity and Religion in Palestine:
The Struggle between Islamism and Secularism in the Occupied Territories
Loren D. Lybarger

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Overall, this book is a rarity in that it offers a closely observed account of the factors that have brought changes to Palestinian self-identity in the past two decades. While observers of Palestinian politics are aware that Islamist parties in Palestine are gaining popular support, Lybarger's study helps to complete what is often an overly broad accounting of this trend by offering specific examples of how some Palestinians have experienced these changes at a personal level."--Stephen C. Poulson, Cambridge Journals

"Identity and Religion in Palestine, offers a careful, perceptive, nuanced, and sympathetic account of the evolution of Palestinian identity over the past generation, as well as related internal Palestinian debates about religion and nation. As such, the book will offer little to those concerned primarily with the passionate and enthusiastic defense of Israel. . . . The book is valuable and interesting precisely because it is divorced from advocacy for any point of view."--Nathan J. Brown, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs


"Lybarger explores the processes by which individuals change and adopt identities as they live through sharply disturbing events. He asks how people have responded to the actions of Fatah, Hamas, and other organizations seeking to position themselves against Israel, and then proceeds by tracing the life courses of a number of individuals through these events and through their choices among possible affiliations. The strength of the book comes from the author's long acquaintance with these individuals and emerges in the detail about their lives and their expressions of their own religious and political choices and consequences. I found these narratives compelling."--John R. Bowen, author of Why the French Don't Like Headscarves

"The author argues that Palestinian political identity in the West Bank and Gaza has changed substantially over the past decades, and perhaps particularly over the seventeen- to eighteen-year span that demarcates his on-the-ground experience. His comparative advantage is that he has had impressive field experience. The result is a powerful and persuasive account of identity formation in the West Bank. This book will prompt and inform debate and contributes significantly to our understanding of politics in Palestine. No other available works come close to Lybarger in terms of unpacking and analyzing the components of Palestinian identity. The guts of the book are the rich biographical chapters. There is nothing like this available in English to my knowledge."--Augustus Richard Norton, Boston University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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