Anna Dowell

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Duke U.

Grant number

Gr. 9365

Approve Date

October 7, 2016

Project Title

Dowell, Anna J., Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Evangelicalism in Egypt: Transformations of Citizenship and Piety among Protestants in Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca L.Stein

Preliminary abstract: This dissertation research explores emerging aspirations for active ‘citizenship’ among evangelical Egyptians in the wake of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. During the 2011 Egyptian uprisings, which deposed Hosni Mubarak from his 30-year presidency, Egypt’s small evangelical Protestant community were surprisingly visible participants in revolutionary protests, media coverage, and the tumultuous national political scene. Representing the community of Egyptian converts to evangelical Protestantism during British colonialism at the hands of American missions, evangelical Egyptians have largely been seen and have seen themselves as peripheral to the Egyptian national body. This project explores the proliferation of new hybrid practices of piety, service, and activism – like prayer and worship service, social outreach projects, and scripture-reading strategies – which evangelicals have, in the wake of the 2011 moment begun to articulate as part of new aspirations to citizenship. By connecting these religio-political practices with those which have been called ‘Christian citizenship’ in other contexts (O’Neill 2009), this project aims to show the yield of including the Middle East in the burgeoning literature on global evangelicalism and religious revivalism in general, with its emphasis on the blurring of the formal categories of ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ which has marked emerging forms of political subjectivities in the global south. By attending to a small religious minority, this research aims to offer a study of Christianity in the Middle East not framed in terms of sectarianism or political Islam, but rather through the everyday processes through which Christianity is made to ‘belong’ in a Muslim-majority nation-state.