Anthropology of Law in Muslim Sudan analyses the hybridity of law systems and the plurality of legal practices in rural and urban contexts of contemporary Sudan, shedding light on the complex relation between Islam and society. It is the outcome of the international research program ANDROMAQUE (
Anthropologie du Droit dans les Mondes Musulmans Africains et Asiatiques), funded by the French ANR (
Agence National de la Recherche) between 2011 and 2014. Crossing two disciplinary perspectives, anthropology and law, the present volume contains original fieldwork data on contemporary urban and rural Sudan. Focusing on two major domains, land property and courts, several case studies demonstrate the relevance of an approach based on “legal practices” to underline, first, the plurality and hybridity of law systems and the relative role of the Islamic reference in Sudanese society, and, secondly, the reshaping of legal behaviors and norms after the breaking point of South Sudan's independence in 2011.
Contributors are: Zahir M. Abdal-Kareem; Azza A. Abdel Aziz; Musa A. Abdul-Jalil; Munzoul M.A. Assal; Mohamed A. Babiker; Yazid Ben Hounet; Barbara Casciarri; Baudoin Dupret; Philippe Gout; Enrico Ille.
In this book, Eric Montgomery and Christian Vannier provide an ethnographically informed text on the cultural meanings and practices surrounding the gods and metaphysics of Vodu, as they relate to daily life in an ethnic Ewe fishing community on the coast of southern Togo. The authors approach this spirit possession and medicinal order through “shrine ethnography,” understanding shrines as parts of sacred landscapes that are ecological, economic, political, and social. Giving voice to practitioners and situating shrines and Vodu itself into the history and political economy of the region make this text pertinent to the social changes and global relevance of Millennial Africa.
The seventeenth century was a period of major social change in central sudanic Africa. Islam spread from royal courts to rural communities, leading to new identities, new boundaries and new tasks for experts of the religion. Addressing these issues, the Bornu scholar Muḥammad al-Wālī acquired an exceptional reputation.
Dorrit van Dalen’s study places him within his intellectual environment, and portrays him as responding to the concerns of ordinary Muslims. It shows that scholars on the geographical margins of the Muslim world participated in the debates in the centres of Muslim learning of the time, but on their own terms. Al-Wālī’s work also sheds light on a century in the Islamic history of West Africa that has until now received little attention.