The 2011 revolution unleashed passionate public concern about how to create a “New Egypt.” Islamic channels were important sites of these debates as rival television preachers gave media form to their competing visions of what a virtuous life entails and what an ethical polity looks like. Based on fieldwork in Cairo with the “New Preachers” – so named because of their novel styles of Islamic media – this talk explores what on and offscreen debates over the mass mediation of Islam reveal about the diverse conceptions of human flourishing and divine obligation that animate religious revivalism and revolutionary praxis alike. To take seriously the mediatic life of theology is to rethink the politics of ethnographic refusal in a global moment of both resurgent authoritarianism and resistance.

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