The practice of feigning weeping in devotional contexts, including in hortatory preaching, is closely associated in Egypt with Islamic Revivalism. It is an expression of pious humility through which worshippers pretend to cry in order to (ideally) develop the embodied capacity to shed tears in the future. Secular Egyptians tend to dismiss such weeping as insincere, but so, too, do many participants in the piety movement in a specific context: on-camera weeping. Drawing on fieldwork with Islamic television preachers and their followers in Cairo, this article explores how the mass-mediated artifice of preacherly weeping provokes expressions of religious ambivalence about an otherwise authoritative ritual practice. While televised tears facilitate the sense of intimacy that many viewers identify as key to their religious adherence, the preacher's lachrymose passion as dramaturgical enskillment coexists uneasily with the pious discipline of sincere self-cultivation. Understanding why this is so illuminates the changing criteria for ritual aptness in a mass media age.

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