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Interfaith Marriages

The Tâlesh Solution

Christian Bromberger

The Tâlesh population is divided between Twelver Shi'a and Shafi'ite Sunnis. Here, the relations between the two 'communities' are harmonious and interfaith marriage is frequent. Family descent in Tâlesh is patrilineal (property, name and social status are transmitted along paternal lines) but the transmission of religious affiliation differs from that of property and social status and is governed, in the words of Meyer Fortes, by 'complementary descent': boys will adopt the religious affiliation of the father and girls that of the mother. So confessional affiliation is bilinear. However, there are exceptions that are as often linked to specific context as they may be to personal 'choice'.

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Rural Anthropology of the Middle East

Soheila Shahshahani and Christian Bromberger

When proposing the theme ‘Rural Anthropology of the Middle East’, we never would have thought that such a variety of topics would be included in the issue. Despite the fact that a continuously decreasing proportion of people dwell in rural areas around the world, including the Middle East, rural people are proving to be resourceful in facing modernity. For this reason, a diversity of subjects can be studied in rural areas, as each village is unique and quite different from the others.