In the Middle East over the past half-century, three religious processes have grown together. One, the growth of fundamentalism, has received worldwide attention both by academics and journalists. The others, the bureaucratization of religion and the state co-optation of religion, of equal duration but no less importance, have received much less attention. The bureaucratization of religion focuses on the hierarchicalization of religious specialists and state co-optation of religion focuses on their neutralization as political opponents. Few commentators link the three processes. In Jordan, fundamentalism, the bureaucratization of religion (BOR), and state co-optation of religion (SCR) have become entwined sometimes in mutually supportive and sometimes in antagonistic relations. The following case study will describe and analyze the implications of this mutual entanglement for the relations of state and civil society and for the human beings simultaneously bureaucratized and “fundamentalized.”
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