Metaphors to Live by: Identity Formation and Resistance Among Minority Muslims in Israel

  • Nimrod Luz


In recent years, religion, belief systems, sacred sites, and the desecularization of the world have gained attention in studies ranging from political and cultural geography to sociology, anthropology, and political sciences. This chapter is located at the intersection of some of these debates. It explores the relevance of the sacred in contemporary life and the importance of religion and religious landscape in sustaining personal and group identity. Specifically, it examines the role of sacred sites among minority groups as a locus of identity formation, collective memory, self-empowerment, and indeed resistance. This chapter focuses on the ways in which minority Islamic sacred sites in Israel serve as spatial metaphors. Through an analysis of the transformations of an Islamic sacred site (maqam) in the north (and periphery) of Israel, this chapter follows the ways politics of identity and minority group resistance are being performed and enacted through the sacred. Adopting a neo-Gramscian approach, this chapter reinforces the theoretical notion that landscape is essentially a political, cultural, and ideological endeavor which is rarely to be found in equilibrium. It directly addresses majority-minority relations in contemporary Israel and what seems to be a growing source of conflict in Israeli society – the evolution of a more elaborate, informed, and outspoken Palestinian identity among Arab-Israeli citizens.


Collective Memory Jewish Identity Identity Politics Israeli Society Political Geography 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyWestern Galilee CollegeAkkoIsrael

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