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The Druze and Their Faith in Tawhid

Anis Obeid

Cloth $29.95s    |    0-8156-3097-2    |    2006

An informed and thorough treatment of Druze history and beliefs that helps elucidate this religion's enigmatic religious identity.

The author of this well-written work, himself a devoted follower of the Druze faith, is convinced that the survival of the Druze community, both in its historic homeland, the Levant, and in the Western diaspora, depends on a thoroughgoing reform of traditional Druze belief and practice. Although Obeid dedicates a substantial portion of the work to a retelling of Druze history and an explication of its core beliefs and practices, this book is above all a plea directed to all Druze, East and West, to take up the task of fundamental reform. Specifically, Obeid believes the Druze must (1) undertake a critical examination of their foundational (sacred) texts; (2) abandon the traditional secrecy surrounding the practice of the faith, and adopt an attitude of openness toward other religions; and (3) give up their age-old opposition to intermarriage and the acceptance of new converts. The community, he believes, has no choice but to embrace change if it is to survive into the 21st century as a vital movement. The work’s eight chapters are accompanied by an excellent bibliography.

"Obeid’s work will receive deep appreciation and high readership by the majority of Druze in the West and other immigrants of Middle Eastern origins."
dashIntisar Azzam, author of Change for Continuity

As a small sect that emerged from Islam over a thousand years ago, the Druze religion and society has long been cloaked in a tradition of secrecy. Veiled from the outside world, the religious tenets have been vulnerable to distortion, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation. In this book Dr. Anis Obeid, a Druze layman, provides a penetrating analysis of Druze scriptures and beliefs (Tawhid). Presenting a chronological narrative of the foundation and development of the faith, he explains the historical conditions and religious rationale behind this closed religion.

The Druze faith is the product of Abrahamic monotheism as it coalesced with other philosophies, belief systems, and political structures of the West and the East and, as Obeid maintains, should be recognized for its core monotheism, and not fundamentally different from Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. He argues convincingly, with examples and translations from the Druze scriptures, only now accessible to a non-initiate public, that Tawhid is a progressive and dynamic spiritual process based on freedom of choice. This rich exploration of their faith, the author’s appeal for a sincere cultural dialogue will resonate with a wide audience in the West and in the Middle East.

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Anis Obeid was born and raised in Lebanon. He is a clinical professor of medicine at the Upstate Medical University and director of echocardiography at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York. He is the author of Sada Assinin, a book of Arabic poetry.

6 x 9, 280 pages, introduction, map, notes, bibliography

The Druze and Their Faith in Tawhid

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