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Brill’s Islam in Africa is designed to present the results of scholarly research into the many aspects of the history and present-day features of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The series will take up issues of religious and intellectual traditions, social significance and organization, and other aspects of the Islamic presence in Africa. It includes monographs, collaborative volumes and reference works by researchers from all relevant disciplines.

Obituary

John Hunwick (1936-2015)

Professor John Owen Hunwick, a leading scholarly authority on the history of Islam in West Africa, passed away on 1 April 2015, after a lengthy illness.

Born in 1936 in Somerset, England, John Hunwick came into contact with Africa as a conscript soldier in British Somaliland from 1955. Back in Britain, he studied Arabic and Islamic history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, graduating in Arabic in 1959. He then went to Ibadan in Nigeria to teach Arabic and the University College there. After several years in Nigeria, he became Associate Professor of History at the University of Ghana, before finally coming to Northwestern University in Evanston, USA (from 1991), where he taught African history and Islamic studies until his retirement in 2004.

Professor Hunwick was an authority of a wide variety of topics and periods of the history of Islam in Africa, in particular in the medieval and early modern periods. He will perhaps be most remembered for his relentless efforts to show that Africa’s past was replete with written sources, and not just the “oral history” that earlier generations of historians assumed. He worked both to collect manuscripts but not least to catalogue and disseminate knowledge about them. In Timbuktu, which came to be at the centre of his attention from the mid-1990s onwards, he will in particular be remembered as the instigator for the UNESCO-initiated Centre de Documentation et de Recherches Ahmed Baba. The centre, now Institute for Studies and Research (IHERI), is a repository of locally produced Arabic manuscripts of a wide variety of topics. Hunwick committed himself to disseminating knowledge of the rich literary heritage in Arabic from Africa, not least through the multi-volume bio-biographical dictionary Arabic Literature of Africa (Leiden: Brill from 1990, edited together with R.S. O’Fahey). He also initiated several journals for this purpose, from Research Bulletin of the Centre of Arabic Documentation in his Ibadan period, through the Fontes Historiae Africanae bulletin, to Sudanic Africa: A Journal of Historical Sources, where he published a large number of documents and biographical studies on important Muslim scholars.

Professor Hunwick published several monographs, the most important being a study of the sixteenth-century Moroccan scholar al-Maghili’s influence on Songhay and Hausaland, Shari’a in Songhay (his Ph.D. Oxford University Press 1985), and a commented translation of al-Saʿdī’s Taʾrīkh al-sūdān: Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire (Brill 1999). However, already from the early 1960s he produced a series of important articles that set the pattern for the study of Islam in West Africa from the medieval to the modern, including an important discussion on the early history of Gao in the Almoravid period, on Islamic law in Songhay, and on issues pertaining to Sufism and slavery. He emphasized the importance of Africa’s contacts across the Sahara, and coined the phrase that “Arabic is the Latin of Africa.” In 2005, the African Studies Association recognized his extraordinary achievements by endowing him with the Distinguished Africanist Award.

Professor Hunwick’s lasting contribution to the study of Islam and Africa includes the establishment of the first academic centre exclusively devoted to the Islamic intellectual tradition in Africa: the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA), founded in 1999 under the umbrella of Northwestern University’s Program of African Studies (PAS). He was able to attract significant grants for ISITA and built an impressive scholarly network around its activities. Always fond of puns, Hunwick used to say, “IS IT A good program? Yes, it is!” Indeed, the role of ISITA in promoting the study of Islam in Africa cannot be overestimated. For Brill Academic Publishers, Hunwick will—in addition to his publications mentioned above—be noted as the founder of the book series Islam in Africa (ISAF).

Professor Hunwick was an generous, welcoming and compassionate scholar, who made all effort to support scholars working in West African Islamic history, and in particular his many students, from Africa and elsewhere. He was for many of us the ultimate authority on any question relating to the use of Arabic in Africa, to issues of Shari’a in the African Maliki tradition, and to scholarliness in general. A veritable pioneer and trailblazer has left us, and those who used to stand on the shoulders of this giant will miss him dearly.

Professor Knut S. Vikør, University of Bergen, Norway
Professor Rüdiger Seesemann, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Approches nouvelles de la violence et de la démocratie
L’islam ouest-africain compte plusieurs confréries soufies notamment au Nord-Nigeria, au Niger et au Sénégal, des pays où la Tijāniyya occupe une place importante dans la sphère publique. Dans la première partie de ce livre, par une perspective comparatiste utilisant les concepts de démocratie, de laïcité, de domination et de violence, l’auteur montre comment ceux-ci sont déployés au niveau local surtout dans le champ politique sénégalais. Dans une deuxième, il s’engage dans un décryptage des relations complexes entre religion et politique dans le Sénégal des deux régimes d’alternance, utilisant alors une approche bourdieusienne de la domination. Mais des marabouts interviennent aussi pour arrêter les projets de personnalisation du pouvoir central. Leur intervention politique sous forme d’appel à la non-violence parvient jusque-là à stabiliser le Sénégal.

West African Islam has several Sufi orders, particularly in Northern Nigeria, Niger and Senegal, countries where the Tijāniyya occupies an important place in the public sphere. In the first part of this book, through a comparative perspective therefore using the concepts of democracy, secularism, domination and violence, the author depicts how these categories are exercised at the local level, especially in the political field. In the second part, he engages in deciphering the complex relations between religion and politics in the so-called alternance regimes between 2000 and 2020, using a Bourdieusian approach to domination. But marabouts intervene also to stop the projects of personalization of the central power. The author concludes that there is a new form of community democracy that Sufi guides use to politically stabilize Senegal.
Author:
The East African Revival is a fascinating historical example of the significant role indigenous agency can play in creating a new Christian spirituality. African revivalists initiated the spread of the movement, employing creative practices such as public testimony and fellowship meetings to sustain the effects of conversion experiences. Daewon Moon integrates theological and sociological analyses of conversion with interviews and personal narratives that express insiders’ perspectives. As active agents in the multiethnic and multicultural movement, African revivalists articulate through their words and changed lives what it means to be 'saved'.
The present volume sets Swahili religious tracts available in Kenya and Tanzania in their context. The book starts with an overview of tracts in Swahili from the 19th century to the present day, an examination of Swahili as a religious language, and an introduction to Swahili versions of the Bible and Qurʾān. Chesworth then introduces the range of tracts currently available, examining eight in detail. In particular he considers how they present scripture in order to promote their own faith, Islam or Christianity, whilst denigrating the ‘other’. Finally, the volume discusses the impact from modern media on these tracts.
Following the traces first left by The Arabic Literature of Africa volume 3A published in 2003, this widely enlarged and precisely updated edition of that pioneering work aims at providing a full-fledged and meticulously detailed reference book on the literature produced and circulated by the Muslim communities of the Horn of Africa. This entirely revised version of ALA3A makes use of the absolutely fresh data discovered and collected by the editors from 2013 to 2018 the framework of the ERC-funded project Islam in the Horn of Africa: A Comparative Literary Approach and draws a new comprehensive picture of the textual production of the Islamic scholars of the Horn of Africa since its first attestations until the present time.

Contributors
Sara Fani, Alessandro Gori, Adday Hernández, John M. Larsen, Irmeli Perho and Michele Petrone.
Volume Editors: and
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History19 (CMR 19), covering Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean in the period 1800-1914, 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 the main body of detailed entries. These treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. They 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 new and leading scholars, CMR 19, along with the other volumes in this series, is intended as a basic tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.

Section Editors: Ines Aščerić-Todd, Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabé Pons, Jaco Beyers, Emanuele Colombo, Lejla Demiri, Martha Frederiks, David D. Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan Guenther, Vincenzo Lavenia, Arely Medina, Diego Melo Carrasco, Alain Messaoudi, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Charles Ramsey, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Cornelia Soldat, Charles Tieszen, Carsten Walbiner, Catherina Wenzel
A Historical Narrative from Ignatius of Loyola to Pedro Arrupe
Author:
Jesuits have been in Africa since the founding of their order, yet their history there remains poorly researched. Although scholars have begun to focus on specific regions such as Congo, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe, a comprehensive picture of the entire Jesuit experience on the continent has hitherto been lacking. In a condensed yet accessible way, Jesuits in Africa fills that lacuna. Narrating the story century by century from the time of St. Ignatius of Loyola (c.1491–1556), founder of the Jesuits, to that of Pedro Arrupe (1907–91, in office 1965–83), twenty-eighth superior general of the Society, this book makes Jesuit history in Africa available to a general readership while offering scholars a broad view in which specialized topics can be conceived and deepened.
Celebración, resistencia furtiva y transformación cultural
En Cofradías Afrohispánicas: celebración, resistencia furtiva y transformación cultural, Manuel Apodaca Valdez ofrece un estudio de 42 cofradías de afrodescendientes del periodo colonial y seis cofradías contemporáneas aún vivas en cuatro zonas geográficas: España, Perú, México y República Dominicana.

Esta investigación histórica y comparativa de corte trasatlántico analiza datos recogidos en archivos históricos e investigación de campo. El estudio muestra evidencias de las condiciones sociales, políticas, culturales y espirituales de las personas de origen africano que se integraron en cofradías durante el periodo colonial. Su legado trazó un camino caracterizado por la hibridación y la transformación, cimentando las bases para las cofradías afrohispánicas del presente, un fenómeno que el autor interpreta como resistencia furtiva y celebración de la identidad cultural.

*****

In Cofradías Afrohispánicas [Afro-Hispanic Confraternities], Manuel Apodaca Valdez offers an account of forty-two confraternities of African descendants of the colonial period, along with six contemporary confraternities still alive in four geographical regions: Spain, Perú, México, and the Dominican Republic.

This historical and comparative trans-Atlantic study analyzes data gathered from archives and field work research. The work shows evidence of the social, political, cultural, and spiritual conditions of the peoples of African descent integrated in confraternities during the colonial time. Their legacy traced a path historically marked by hybridism and transformation laying the foundation for contemporary Afro-confraternities, a phenomenon interpreted by the author as furtive resistance and celebration of cultural identity.
Strategies of Belonging in Indian Ocean Island Societies
Volume Editors: and
All the islands of the western Indian Ocean are immigrant societies: Austronesian seafarers, African slaves, Arab traders, South Asian indentured labourers and European plantation owners have all settled, some voluntarily, others less so, on Madagascar and Zanzibar, in the Mascarenes and the Comoros. Successive arrivals often struggle to establish their places in these societies, negotiating their way in the face of antipathy, resistance, even violence, as different claims to belonging conflict. The contributions to this volume take a selection of case studies from across the region, and from different perspectives, contributing to a theorisation of the concept of belonging itself.

Contributors are Patrick Desplat, Franziska Fay, Marie-Aude Fouéré, Akbar Keshodkar, Hans Olsson, Gitanjali Pyndiah, Ramola Ramtohul, Iain Walker
Author:
Millions of African Christians who consider themselves genealogical descendants of one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel—in other words, Jewish by ethnicity, but Christian in terms of faith—are increasingly choosing a religious affiliation that honors both of these identities. Their choice: Messianic Judaism. Messianic adherents emulate the Christians of the first century, observing the Jewish commandments while also affirming the salvational grace of Yeshua (Jesus). As the first comparative ethnography of such “fulfilled Jews” on the African continent, this book presents case studies that will enrich our understanding of one of global Christianity’s most overlooked iterations.