February 5, 2014.
Lecture 5 - Spiritual Economies and Economic Theologies
Religion and Modernity, Secularization
Readings this Week
• Make reference to Weberian capitalist principles
• Difference between capitalism and neoliberalism?
o Privatization, individual responsibility, free market economy; more prominent
in/important to neoliberalism
o Political ideology factors into economy more with neoliberalism
• Islam as a religious tradition but also its relationship to modernity and capitalism; more
of a social force today
• Islam often seen as one single tradition but readings show that it can depend on local
• Faces of the State (Navaro-Yashin)
o 2002: Party associated with Islam publicly first came into power via election
o Lot of research (not necessarily within this text) coinciding with recent revolution
Themes/Questions Today (class discussion/comments included)
• What is the relationship between economy and religion?
o Mittermaier: difference between spiritual economies and occult(?) economies
o Religion being commodified and being used in a consumer context
o Reducing spiritual ideology to economic units/ways of being
o Modern religions adapt to change in the economy; religion adapts (with respect to
neoliberalism) to the privatization and individualization of the economy by
providing a very subjective experience in answering “who am I/what is my place
in the world” questions
o Economy and material relationships potentially polluting spiritual status and
o Religion and economy not necessarily in opposition to each other like certain
Marxist ideologies might understand it; intersect and affect each other
• What is the relationship between Islam and modernity?
o Something about Islam not pushing industrial revolution in the middle east like
Protestantism/Catholicism did in Europe
• What is the anthropology of Islam and what is its object of investigation?
• Economies of Thawab (divine payback)
o Trading with God
• Economies of Baraka (diving blessing)
o God’s boundless generousity • Talks about calculation and how people are calculative; something about calculating good
o Factors into capitalist viewpoint of profit and loss; translating spirituality and
faith and good deeds into capitalist language/discourse
o How many good deeds vs. bad deeds will result in going where after death? Etc.
o How does God balance his (or, y’know, maybe her) books?
• Do capitalist and neoliberal principles effect our view of charity or was thinking about
charity selfishly present before capitalism?
• “An economized Islam or an Islamic economy is neve