Two Arabs, A Berber, and A JewEntangled Lives in Morocco

Two Arabs, A Berber, and A JewEntangled Lives in Morocco

Lawrence Rosen

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780226317342

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Ordinary people have intellectual lives. By following the thoughts and experiences of four Moroccans – two Arabs, a Berber, and a Jew – it is possible to see how their views of history, religion, the marketplace, and interfaith relations have developed over the course of their lifetimes. In the process one sees how, from a country that a century ago did not have a single paved road and was on the edge of colonial domination, each of these men brings his knowledge to bear on his culture and its transformations. It is also an account of the anthropologist’s entanglement in their world, and as such it demonstrates how, in the process of decades of field research, the analysis of a culture remains foremost even as one’s own life is enmeshed in understanding that of another. The result is an account of a shared intellectual venture, one in which concepts of time and causation, negotiated relationships and contrasting cosmologies highlight the world of everyday life in an Arab society in ways that challenge both Western stereotypes and cultural explanation.