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Abstract

Christian churches are not abstract or ethereal institutions; they impact people’s daily decisions, weekly rhythms, and major life choices. This paper explores the continued importance of Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Anglican church membership for East African women. While much recent scholarship on Christianity in Africa has emphasized the rising prominence of Pentecostalism, I argue that historic, mission-founded churches continue to represent important sources of community formation and support for congregations. Using oral interviews with rural and urban women in Nairobi and northern Tanzania, I explore the ways churches can connect disparate populations through resource (re)distribution and shared religious aesthetic experiences. Moving below the level of church institutions, I focus on the lived experiences and motivations of everyday congregants who invest in religious communities for a range of material, interpersonal, and emotional reasons that, taken together, help us understand the ongoing importance of mainline churches in East Africa.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 12 (CMR 12) covering the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas in the period 1700-1800 is a further volume in a general history of relations between the two faiths from the 7th century to the early 20th century. It comprises a series of introductory essays and also the main body of detailed entries which treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. These entries provide biographical details of the authors, descriptions and assessments of the works themselves, and complete accounts of manuscripts, editions, translations and studies. The result of collaboration between numerous leading scholars, CMR 12, along with the other volumes in this series, is intended as a basic tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.

Section Editors: Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabe Pons, Jaco Beyers, Emanuele Colombo, Karoline Cook, Sinéad Cussen, Lejla Demiri, Martha Frederiks, David D. Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan Guenther, Emma Gaze Loghin, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Radu Păun, Charles Ramsey, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Mehdi Sajid, Cornelia Soldat, Karel Steenbrink, Ann Thomson, Carsten Walbiner

As an Islamic radio station, ZuriaFM stands as an exception in the heavily pentecostalized Ghanaian mediascape. In this essay, I locate this station in this mediascape and discuss the “Islamic sphere” it co-brings into being. Thereby, I complement the mainly Christian case studies of media, institutions, and actors in the Ghanaian public sphere with an Islamic one. ZuriaFM has emerged as a central platform for Muslims in the country, and has significantly (re-)shaped this “Islamic sphere” by introducing new styles of preaching, preacher figures, and opening topics for debate. In this sense, I by and large agree with the prevailing “transformation thesis” in the literature on “modern” media and “Islamic spheres” which stresses the fragmentation and liberalization of debates and authority. However, ZuriaFM could also be perceived as contributing to a unification of Islamic standards, which calls into question the one-sided stressing of fragmentation and liberalization of the “transformation thesis”.

In: Islamic Africa

This article analyzes the impact of “modern”1 education on Shari’a practice and authority in Mogadishu, Somalia. More specifically, the article looks at the influence of graduates from modern Islamic universities on the Shari’a court movement in Mogadishu. The Shari’a Courts of Mogadishu, as they are now known, began to emerge in the Somali capital after the disintegration of the previous regime in early 1991. The Courts were formed in various neighborhoods in the city at different times throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. They were organized and run by neighborhood religious authorities and traditional elders. The Courts were thus independent of each other. When the Courts began to unify starting in 2003, a new group of elites educated in modern Islamic universities played an important role in their unification. This article looks at the education and socialization of these elites and how their rise to power changed Shari’a practice and authority.

In: Islamic Africa
In: Islamic Africa
In: Islamic Africa
Author: Kota Kariya

‘Uthmān b. Fūdī (d. 1817) launched a jihad in Hausaland in 1804 and was successful in establishing a strong polity known as the Sokoto Caliphate. During this jihad, the Sokoto leadership clashed not only with non-Muslims but also with those who had historically been recognized as Muslims, such as the inhabitants of Bornu, a state neighboring Hausaland. Islamic law does not, in principle, permit attacks on Muslims. Therefore, to justify the jihad, the hostile Muslims had to be branded unbelievers. For that, ‘Uthmān and his successor, Muḥammad Bello (d. 1837), developed and instituted a provision on apostasy based on the idea of muwālāt (friendship) with unbelievers. This stipulation emerged as a substantial regulation legalizing the violence committed by the Sokoto leaders on Muslims who were opposed to them both within and outside the early Caliphate.

In: Islamic Africa