• Buber 2021-2022
  • The Martin Buber Society  of Fellows committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and to a strong interdisciplinary orientation. Our goal is to foster innovative, path-breaking research of broad cultural meaning and relevance and to create a community of scholars who can learn from and inspire one another.

FOCUS

FM
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    The best thing about the MBSF is that you get time to read up on subjects and think things through. Here you have the time, and the comfort of a community of other fellows. Many of my colleagues grew to be very important to me both intellectually and socially.

    Ellinor Morack, Germany
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    The best thing about the MBSF is that you get time to read up on subjects and think things through. Here you have the time, and the comfort of a community of other fellows. Many of my colleagues grew to be very important to me both intellectually and socially.

    Ellinor Morack, Germany

FEATURED PUBLICATIONS

Charity in Saudi Arabia - Civil Society under Authoritarianism
Dr. Nora Derbal. 2022. Charity in Saudi Arabia - Civil Society under Authoritarianism. Cambridge University Press. Abstract

In this innovative study of everyday charity practices in Jeddah, Nora Derbal employs a 'bottom-up' approach to challenge dominant narratives about state-society relations in Saudi Arabia. Exploring charity organizations in Jeddah, this book both offers a rich ethnography of associational life and counters Riyadh-centric studies which focus on oil, the royal family, and the religious establishment. It closely follows those who work on the ground to provide charity to the local poor and needy, documenting their achievements, struggles and daily negotiations. The lens of charity offers rare insights into the religiosity of ordinary Saudis, showing that Islam offers Saudi activists a language, a moral frame, and a worldly guide to confronting inequality. With a view to the many forms of local community activism in Saudi Arabia, this book examines perspectives that are too often ignored or neglected, opening new theoretical debates about civil society and civic activism in the Gulf.

The Neo-Aramaic Oral Heritage of the Jews of Zakho
Dr. Oz Aloni. 2022. The Neo-Aramaic Oral Heritage of the Jews of Zakho. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. Abstract
Aloni focuses on three genres of the Zakho community's oral heritage: the proverb, the enriched biblical narrative and the folktale . Each chapter draws on the authors' own fieldwork among members of the Zakho community now living in Jerusalem. He examines the proverb in its performative context, the rewritten biblical epic narrative of Ruth, Naomi and King David, and a folktale with the unusual theme of magical gender transformation. Insightfully breaking down these examples with analysis drawn from a variety of conceptual fields, Aloni succeeds in his mission to put the speakers of the language and their culture on equal footing with their speech.

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