The Language of Tears: My Journey Into the World of Shi'i Muslim Women (Islamic Encounter) (Paperback)

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The Language of Tears: My Journey Into the World of Shi'i Muslim Women (Islamic Encounter) By Bridget Blomfield Cover Image


The Language of Tears details the engaging five-year experience of a gifted American scholar throughout her journey teaching and participating in a Shi'a Muslim community in Southern California. As a teacher in a Muslim school, she participates in the lives of Iranian, Iraqi, and Pakistani women as they perform their religious rituals. Initially thought to be an FBI informant, Blomfield builds trust as she participates in every aspect of their lives.

Only a few weeks after she starts teaching, the fifth-grade girls invite her to attend a religious ritual after school. Sitting, covered in black, she starts to engage: hearing the laments of the women, she too starts to weep. She is invited into the women's homes, where they share their hopes, dreams, and fears. She dances at weddings, baby showers, and a Mother's Day "women's only" swim party. She is deeply honored when she is invited to ritually wash and bury an old Iranian woman's body, erupting a love for her own mother and her imminent death. Finally, she travels to Iran for a surreal religious pilgrimage where she becomes Shi'a "in her heart," becoming more fully human.

About the Author

Dr. Bridget Blomfield teaches Religious Studies and is the director of the Islamic Studies Program at the University ofNebraska-Omaha. She is also a faculty member of the International Studies and Women's Studies programs. Her areas of interest include Islamic feminism, women's rituals, and religious authority. As an ethnographer, she researches Shi'a and Sufi Muslim women and their religious experienced.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781935952428
ISBN-10: 1935952420
Publisher: White Cloud Press
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2015
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Islamic Encounter