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Grant number: FA-57116-13

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Loren Diller Lybarger
Ohio University, Athens (Athens, OH 45701-1361)

The Role of Religion in Shaping Identity among Diaspora Palestinians in Chicago

Discussion of religion among Palestinians in the United States emphasizes either links to Islamist groups like Hamas or the abuse of their civil rights as Arabs and Muslims. Both approaches ignore the processes of identity formation internal to the community itself. This book project offers the first detailed ethnography of how Muslim and Christian Palestinians in the US have reconfigured their identities in response to processes of religious return since the early 1990s. Initial findings indicate that religious and secular tendencies interacting across gender, class, sect, and generation have produced new hybrid orientations at the individual level. These findings challenge the notion that Palestinians merely reproduce the global Islamic revival. They also show that concepts of "secular" and "religious" remain heuristically valuable despite recent criticisms of these notions. I seek a NEH Fellowship to complete the fieldwork and begin write up of the initial chapters of my monograph.

Project fields:
Religion, General

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2013 – 7/31/2014