Nada Moumtaz

Nov 2, 2021

God’s Property

Islam, Charity, and the Modern State

University of California Press 2021

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Nada Moumtaz’s God’s Property: Islam, Charity, and the Modern State (University of California Press, 2021) is an ethnography anchored in deep study of the Muslim scholarly tradition, the urban landscape, and Lebanon across the Ottoman, Mandate, and post-independence periods. At the center of the book is the waqf, often translated as “pious endowment.” An act and a practice exhibiting or embodying both change and stability since the nineteenth century, the waqf allows Moumtaz to reinterpret major categories in anthropology, Islamic legal studies, and history, including charity, family, the economy, the public and private, and the state. This is the second New Books Network interview devoted to this much-anticipated book, a careful, wide-ranging, and ambitious work poised to influence conversations in multiple disciplines.

Interviewers: Janna Aladdin and Julian Weideman.

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