"The Modern Face of Ibadhism in Oman"
Dale F. Eickelman
Dartmouth College, USA

This paper explores the implications of the growth of mass higher education in Oman since the 1970s, the greater ease of travel, and the more recent proliferation of new communications technologies for how Ibadhism is popularly elaborated and practiced. Assessing the changing relation between state authority and religious expression, it particularly focuses on the increasingly “objectified” presentation of Ibadhi faith that modern education and a heightened awareness of religious alternatives encourage, and the fragmentation of religious authority. There is an increasing tendency of young Ibadhis to “take charge” of their faith. The emerging networks for communication and action produced by mass higher education and contemporary religious activism offer insight into the interplay of religion, politics, and national identity.