The modernization of the Hawza? Lebanon as a case study

Kassem, Ali (2018) The modernization of the Hawza? Lebanon as a case study. Contemporary Arab Affairs. ISSN 1755-0912 (Accepted)

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (666kB)


A Hawza is the establishment responsible for the training of Shia Islam’s Imams, preachers, professors and researchers. Its educational model, for hundreds of years, has involved the teaching of Fikh, Usul, philosophy, Quranic Studies and Arabic language. Over the past few decades, the social sciences, the systematic study of man and society which had emerged in the ‘west’, have been slowly making their way into these institutions, alongside a number of other changes. This paper will investigate, qualitatively, the religious training of Shia men of religion in Lebanon to explore the changes taking place within this institution. Based on a triangulation of participant observation, interviews with professors, students and stakeholders as well as content analysis of certain course material the paper claims a Hawza in metamorphosis. While structural and material alterations have straightforwardly made their way into the institution, content and curricular ones have faced more difficulty. These changes, reveal plenty about Islamic education and Shia Islam in Lebanon’s public sphere. Additionally, the paper raises questions and insights regarding both decolonial theory, Lebanon’s future and the geopolitics of the Arab world.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ali Kassem
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2018 09:10
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 09:10

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update