|Title: ||Diverse styles of Islamic reform among the Songhay of eastern Mali|
|Authors: ||Niezen, Ronald Wesley|
|Issue Date: ||27-Oct-1987|
|Abstract: ||The general aim of the dissertation is to contribute to an
understanding of Islamic reform in West Africa. To this end
fieldwork was conducted among the Songhay of eastern Mali, a
people who experienced a sudden rise in the popularity of Islamic
reform in the early 1970's which divided many communities along
religious lines. The term 'Wahhabiyya', often used to describe
a trend in religious reform in West Africa which is inspired
largely by the Saudi Arabian model of puritan Islam, is accepted
by most members of this Songhay movement.
In the region of Gao, in which this locally-based Wahhabi
movement emerged, the situation is one in which Islamic reform
among the village population is more 'radical' and uncompromising
than among town dwellers. The central concerns of the dissertation
are to compare the social backgrounds and religious orientations
of 'moderates' and 'radicals' and, in particular, to account
for the strong appeal of Islamic reform among the villagers.
In order to assess the impact of religious reform attention
is paid throughout the dissertation to the social and religious
life of the non-reformist population. In tracing the background
of the topic it was necessary to explore the history of the
Songhay with specific reference to the introduction of Islam
and its place in the 'traditional' religious complex as well
as changes in the family, the economy and the politicaltostructure
which have occurred since the advent of French colonization.
These issues are set within a general comparison of the reformist
and traditionalist communities which includes consideration
of the way Islam is observed, the place of leadership and organization,
and the way Islamic education is implemented.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses - Social Anthropology|
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