Building A House in Heaven: Pious Neoliberalism and Islamic Charity in Egypt , written by Mona Atia

Building A House in Heaven: Pious Neoliberalism and Islamic Charity in Egypt , written by Mona Atia (Minneapolis, mn : University of Minnesota Press, 2013). pp. 225. $25.00 paper, isbn -13: 978-0816689170. Mona Atia’s Building a House in Heaven offers an innovative ethnographic analysis of shifting religious charitable practices in neoliberal Egypt. In this multi-sited ethnography, Atia introduces us to the phenomenon of “pious neoliberalism,” or “the merging of religious and capitalist subjectivity” (xvi). Atia’s ethnographic focus is coupled with a neo-Foucaldian theoretical framework that examines pious neoliberalism as a form of governmentality that produces “new institutions, systems of knowledge and subjectivities” (xvi). As such, Atia tackles questions that are central to the anthropology of neoliberalism and utilizes the Egyptian case to illuminate this intriguing topic in a non-Western context. The book is organized around two broad and interrelated themes that together illustrate the complex politics of Islamic charity in Egypt. The book’s primary focus is on the changing ethics, practices, and institutions of charity in Egypt’s rapidly changing social and economic space. The second focus of the book is the tumultuous relationship between the state and Islamist movements. One of the book’s significant merits is that it complicates dichotomies that are often taken for granted: charity versus economic exchange, states versus Islamists, neoliberalism versus http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Islam Brill

Building A House in Heaven: Pious Neoliberalism and Islamic Charity in Egypt , written by Mona Atia

Sociology of Islam, Volume 2 (3-4): 354 – Jun 10, 2014

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Book Reviews
ISSN
2213-140X
eISSN
2213-1418
D.O.I.
10.1163/22131418-00204016
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

(Minneapolis, mn : University of Minnesota Press, 2013). pp. 225. $25.00 paper, isbn -13: 978-0816689170. Mona Atia’s Building a House in Heaven offers an innovative ethnographic analysis of shifting religious charitable practices in neoliberal Egypt. In this multi-sited ethnography, Atia introduces us to the phenomenon of “pious neoliberalism,” or “the merging of religious and capitalist subjectivity” (xvi). Atia’s ethnographic focus is coupled with a neo-Foucaldian theoretical framework that examines pious neoliberalism as a form of governmentality that produces “new institutions, systems of knowledge and subjectivities” (xvi). As such, Atia tackles questions that are central to the anthropology of neoliberalism and utilizes the Egyptian case to illuminate this intriguing topic in a non-Western context. The book is organized around two broad and interrelated themes that together illustrate the complex politics of Islamic charity in Egypt. The book’s primary focus is on the changing ethics, practices, and institutions of charity in Egypt’s rapidly changing social and economic space. The second focus of the book is the tumultuous relationship between the state and Islamist movements. One of the book’s significant merits is that it complicates dichotomies that are often taken for granted: charity versus economic exchange, states versus Islamists, neoliberalism versus

Journal

Sociology of IslamBrill

Published: Jun 10, 2014

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