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The Transformation of Religious Learning in Oman: Tradition and Modernity

ABDULRAHMAN AL-SALIMI
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Third Series, Vol. 21, No. 2 (APRIL 2011), pp. 147-157
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23011490
Page Count: 11
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The Transformation of Religious Learning in Oman: Tradition and Modernity
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Abstract

The last fifty years mark a period of great change in the role of religious leadership and education in the Sultanate of Oman. The country moved from bifurcated leadership between an Imam and a Sultan to a single political authority. These decades also witnessed the modernisation of the state. These factors combined to reshape the place of religion and religious education in society. Whereas previously religious leaders had relative autonomy and more direct political influence, now they were brought under the auspices of the government with their focus circumscribed to religious matters. The structures and foci of religious education were then reshaped so that tradition provided a platform for progress and the more zealous ideologies emerging in the region could be held at bay. This has permitted Oman to modernise and engage with a global society in an amicable, non-sectarian, manner.

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