Why do we tell and engage with (listen, read, watch, play) stories compulsively? In our world of usually unsparing evolutionary competition, good information matters for organisms of every kind.
Saba Mahmood is professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of "Politics of Piety" (2005) and "Religious Difference in a Secular Age" (2015), and the coauthor of "Is Critique Secular?" Her work focuses on questions of religion, secularism, minority rights and gender in the Middle East.