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Arab Human Development in the Twenty-first CenturyThe Primacy of Empowerment$
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Bahgat Korany

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166587

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166587.001.0001

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The Formation of Religious Leaders and Impact of Enlightened Imams1

The Formation of Religious Leaders and Impact of Enlightened Imams1

(p.285) Chapter 9 The Formation of Religious Leaders and Impact of Enlightened Imams1
Arab Human Development in the Twenty-first Century

Baqer S. Alnajjar

American University in Cairo Press

Given the importance of religion in social interaction and identity formation in the Middle East as whole, this chapter explores several questions in the area of Arab religious devotion and religious discourse. How does religion contribute to building and shaping society? To what extent does the role of religion re?ect theory and history? How are clerics trained, and what challenges do they face? To what extent does religion express identity? What mechanisms have Muslim communities developed to preserve their identity? What role did religion play in the Arab Spring? What does the future relationship between religion and politics look like? The main issue this chapter addresses is whether the contexts that in?uence the formation of religious ?gures and ordinary people in the Arab region provide incentives that positively and effectively contribute to human development. The increasing voices in the media and from well-established religious institutions such as al-Azhar or al-Zeitouna demanding renewal of religious discourse confirm the basic premise of this chapter.

Keywords:   religious education, imam, priest, al-Azhar, renewal of religious discourse

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