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In Locating Politics in Ethiopia's Irreecha Ritual Serawit Bekele Debele gives an account of politics and political processes in contemporary Ethiopia as manifested in the annual ritual performance. Mobilizing various sources such as archives, oral accounts, conversations, videos, newspapers, and personal observations, Debele critically analyses political processes and how they are experienced, made sense of and articulated across generational, educational, religious, gender and ethnic differences as well as political persuasions. Moreover, she engages Irreecha in relation to the hugely contested meaning making processes attached to the Thanksgiving ritual which has now become an integral part of Oromo national identity.
In Jesus for Zanzibar: Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging, Islam, and Nation Hans Olsson offers an ethnographic account of the lived experience and socio-political significance of newly arriving Pentecostal Christians in the Muslim majority setting of Zanzibar. This work analyzes how a disputed political partnership between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania intersects with the construction of religious identities.

Undertaken at a time of political tensions, the case study of Zanzibar’s largest Pentecostal church, the City Christian Center, outlines religious belonging as relationally filtered in-between experiences of social insecurity, altered minority / majority positions, and spiritual powers. Hans Olsson shows that Pentecostal Christianity, as a signifier of (un)wanted social change, exemplifies contested processes of becoming in Zanzibar that capitalizes on, and creates meaning out of, religious difference and ambient political tensions.
Protestants entering Africa in the nineteenth century sought to learn from earlier Jesuit presence in Ethiopia and southern Africa. The nineteenth century was itself a century of missionary scramble for Africa during which the Jesuits encountered their Protestant counterparts as both sought to evangelize the African native. Encounters between Jesuits and Protestants in Africa, edited by Robert Alexander Maryks and Festo Mkenda, S.J., presents critical reflections on the nature of those encounters in southern Africa and in Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Fernando Po. Though largely marked by mutual suspicion and outright competition, the encounters also reveal personal appreciations and support across denominational boundaries and thus manifest salient lessons for ecumenical encounters even in our own time.

This volume is the result of the second Boston College International Symposium on Jesuit Studies held at the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya) in 2016. Thanks to generous support of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College, it is available in Open Access.

Jawāb al-Ifrῑqῑ - The Response of the African
Chanfi Ahmed shows how West African ʿulamāʾ, who fled the European colonization of their region to settle in Mecca and Medina, helped the regime of King Ibn Sa’ud at its beginnings in the field of teaching and spreading the Salafῑ-Wahhabῑ’s Islam both inside and outside Saudi Arabia. This is against the widespread idea of considering the spread of the Salafῑ-Wahhābῑ doctrine as being the work of ʿulamāʾ from Najd (Central Arabia) only. We learn here that the diffusion of this doctrine after 1926 was much more the work of ʿulamāʾ from other parts of the Muslim World who had already acquired this doctrine and spread it in their countries by teaching and publishing books related to it. In addition Chanfi Ahmed demonstrates that concerning Islamic reform and mission (daʿwa), Africans are not just consumers, but also thinkers and designers.
In: Iran in the Early Islamic Period
In: West African ʿulamāʾ and Salafism in Mecca and Medina
In: Iran in the Early Islamic Period
In: Iran in the Early Islamic Period