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The Saints' Impresarios: Dreamers, Healers, and Holy Men in Israel's Urban Periphery (Hardback)
  • The Saints' Impresarios: Dreamers, Healers, and Holy Men in Israel's Urban Periphery (Hardback)
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The Saints' Impresarios: Dreamers, Healers, and Holy Men in Israel's Urban Periphery (Hardback)

(author)
£107.00
Hardback 364 Pages / Published: 30/12/2009
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The astonishing revival of saint worship in contemporary Israel was ignited by Moroccan Jews, who had immigrated to the new country in the 1950s and 1960s. "The Saint's Impresarios" charts the vicissitudes of four new domestic shrines, established by Moroccan-born men and women in peripheral development towns, following an exciting revelation involving a saintly figure. Each of the case studies discussing the life stories of the 'saint impresarios' elaborates on a distinctive theme: dreams as psychocultural triggers for revelation; family and community responses to the initiative; female saint impresarios as healers; and the alleviation of life crises through the saint's idiom. The initiatives are evaluated against the historical background of Jews in Morocco and the sociopolitical and cultural changes in present-day Israeli society. This title is for readers interested in Israel and Jewish Studies, folk religion and mysticism, cultural and psychological anthropology, and Moroccan Jews.

Publisher: Academic Studies Press
ISBN: 9781934843710
Number of pages: 364
Weight: 667 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"These case studies of pilgrimage sites appearing on the margins of society touch on the quest for revitalization in the midst of individual and collective hardships, caused by migration and loneliness. The author portrays a unique class of religious virtuosi, the emissaries of forgotten holiness that haunts them in their dreams. Then, the dreamers become doers and manage to create a rebirth of lost traditions. We encounter here something that always lives at the heart of living religion, a mystery of seeming simplicity and innocence that manages to transform objective social barriers."--Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Haifa University
"Yoram Bilu's work on the "cult of saints" (tzaddiquim), a system of religious practice common among Israel's North African immigrants, represents a model of ethnographic research. His participant observations of pilgrimages -- principally in the Negev and Galilee - to the tombs of the saints, the courts of their descendants and the sites of the newly venerated, together with his revealing interviews with custodians and devotees of these venues, offer a rich understanding of the cultural, social, and psychological forces that underpin this practice. Bilu examines the evolution and reinvigoration of this tradition through the proclamation of new heroes for worship and sites for veneration. His book is a must reading for anyone interested in the cultural and social dynamics that continue to shape Israeli society."--Moshe Shokeid, Tel-Aviv University
"In this translation of Shoshvine ha-kedoshim, which began as a lecture series at the University of Rochester, Bilu (anthropology and psychology, Hebrew U., Jerusalem) examines the mystical cult of saints practiced by Moroccan (Mizhari) Jews who migrated to Israel in the 1970s and 1980s. To put modest pilgrimage sites for four tsaddiqim (holy men) in historical context, the author interviewed the sites' impresarios -- some of them also healers -- in fieldwork conducted in the 1980s and early 2000s. In psycho-cultural terms, he frames their attachment to a patron saint as a way to cope with challenges at different life stages. A glossary and photographs would have been appreciated."--Annotation (c)2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR

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