Randa Khair Abbas and Deborah Court, “The Israeli Druze Community in Transition: Between Tradition and Modernity” (Cambridge Scholars, 2021)

Randa Khair Abbas and Deborah Court’s book The Israeli Druze Community in Transition: Between Tradition and Modernity (Cambridge Scholars, 2021) gives voice to the Israeli Druze through in-depth interviews with 120 people, 60 young adults and 60 of their parents’ generation. How is this traditional group, bound together through the centuries by their secret religion and strong value system, dealing with modernization? Can their religion, and their very identity, survive the meeting with the modern, technological world? What resources do the young and the not-so-young bring to the task of preserving their community and helping it to flourish as the world changes around them?

The people in this text answer these questions through the telling of their stories, in which they express their values, opinions, beliefs and aspirations. The book draws out theoretical, practical, religious and sociological implications from this analysis, in order to shed light on the challenges faced by other traditional societies meeting modernity.

More about their methodology is available in their brand-new book, Insider-Outsider Research in Qualitative Inquiry: New Perspectives on Method and Meaning.

Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at reneeg@vanleer.org.il

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