Ulama and National Movements in the Middle East: Between Harmony and Dissent

Meir Hatina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The literature on the emerging national discourse in the Middle East in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has focused mainly on the perceptions of the new intelligentsia of government officials, army officers and writers. This sector, whose ideological outlook was formed during a period of accelerated modernisation, state-building and expanded literacy, displayed openness to Western culture and advocated religious reform, national independence and constitutionalism. Little attention was paid to the establishment ′ulama (religious scholars), who were also present at the birth of the national movements in the period cited. This inattention to the ′ulama, especially in the Sunni world, is not surprising. The ′ulama have generally been identified in the literature as adherents of the traditional order embodying the community of believers and the institution of the caliphate, and not as intellectual innovators. Widely perceived as submissive to state authority, they have been considered unimportant participants in the national discourse in the Middle East in comparison to the Westernised elites and the modernist intellectuals.1.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCommunity, Identity and the State
Subtitle of host publicationComparing Africa, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781135766108
ISBN (Print)071465664X
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004 contributors.


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