Islam and Social Change in French West Africa: History of an Emancipatory Community

Islam and Social Change in French West Africa: History of an Emancipatory Community

by Sean Hanretta
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521899710

ISBN-13: 9780521899710

Pub. Date: 03/23/2009

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Exploring the history and religious community of a group of Muslim Sufi mystics who came largely from socially marginal backgrounds in colonial French West Africa, this study shows the relationship between religious, social, and economic change in the region. It highlights the role that intellectuals – including not only elite men, but also women, slaves, and

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Overview

Exploring the history and religious community of a group of Muslim Sufi mystics who came largely from socially marginal backgrounds in colonial French West Africa, this study shows the relationship between religious, social, and economic change in the region. It highlights the role that intellectuals – including not only elite men, but also women, slaves, and the poor – played in shaping social and cultural change and illuminates the specific religious ideas on which Muslims drew and the political contexts that gave their efforts meaning. In contrast to depictions that emphasize the importance of international networks and anti-modern reaction in twentieth-century Islamic reform, this book claims that, in West Africa, such movements were driven by local forces and constituted only the most recent round in a set of centuries-old debates about the best way for pious people to confront social injustice. It argues that traditional historical methods prevent an appreciation of Muslim intellectual history in Africa by misunderstanding the nature of information gathering during colonial rule and misconstruing the relationship between documents and oral history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521899710
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
03/23/2009
Series:
African Studies Series, #110
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. 'The Suffering of our Father': Story and Context: 1. Sufism and status in the Western Sudan; 2. Making a revival: Yacouba Sylla and his followers; 3. Making a community: the 'Yacoubists' from 1930 to 2001; Part II. 'I Will Prove to You that What I Say Is True': Knowledge and Colonial Rule: 4. Ghosts and the grain of the archives; 5. History in the Zawiya: redemptive traditions; Part III. 'What Did He Give You?': Interpretation: 6. Lost origins: women and spiritual equality; 7. The spiritual economy of emancipation; 8. The gift of work: devotion, hierarchy, and labor; 9. 'To never shed blood': Yocouba, Houphouët, and Côte d'Ivoire.

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