Edited by S.R. Goldstein-Sabbah and H.L. Murre-van den Berg

Modernity, Minority, and the Public Sphere: Jews and Christians in the Middle East explores the many facets associated with the questions of modernity and minority in the context of religious communities in the Middle East by focusing on inter-communal dialogues and identity construction among the Jewish and Christian communities of the Middle East and paying special attention to the concept of space.This volume draws examples of these issues from experiences in the public sphere such as education, public performance, and political engagement discussing how religious communities were perceived and how they perceived themselves. Based on the conference proceedings from the 2013 conference at Leiden University entitled Common Ground? Changing Interpretations of Public Space in the Middle East among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the 19th and 20th Century this volume presents a variety of cases of minority engagement in Middle Eastern society.

With contributions by: T. Baarda, A. Boum, S.R. Goldstein-Sabbah, A. Massot, H. Müller-Sommerfeld, H.L. Murre-van den Berg, L. Robson, K.Sanchez Summerer, A. Schlaepfer, D. Schroeter and Y. Wallach

Kings of Disaster

Dualism, Centralism and the Scapegoat King in Southeastern Sudan

Simon Simonse

This study of the rainmakers of the Nilotic Sudan means a breakthrough in anthropological thinking on African political systems. Taking his inspiration from Rene Girard's theory of consensual scapegoating the author shows that the long standing distinction of states and stateless societies as two fundamentally different political types does not hold. Centralized and segmentary systems only differ in the relative emphasis put on the victimary role of the king as compared with that of enemy victims. Kings of Disaster so proposes an uninvolved solution to the vexed problem of regicide. Recent cases occurring during the great drought of the mid-1980's are discribed and analyzed.
Making simultaneous use of first-hand field data and archival sources, the book offers the first presentation of five Nilotic communities on the East Bank of the Nile. This study offers a new perspective on the role of violence in the structuring of society.