This book deals with Muslim modernity in a country with the largest single Muslim population in Sub-Saharan Africa. It provides much needed new grounds for comparative study. Until now, virtually all socio-anthropological works about any specific African country are either authored by nationals of that country or by Western scholars. This book is an exception because its author is an Islamicist and a social scientist from Senegal trained in the French social science tradition. Therefore, his work offers an original perspective in the study of Nigeria.
In addition, the study of Islam south of the Sahara has so far focused on Sufi orders, which form the mainstream of Islam, but which by no means cover the whole Islamic field; so-called Islamic fundamentalist movements are also part of the religious landscape. However, very little has been published on these movements. In that respect this book is again an exception in that it is devoted to the study of the largest single Muslim fundamentalist organization in postcolonial Sub-Saharan Africa, the Society for the Removal of Innovation and Reinstatement of Tradition.
Muslim Modernity in Postcolonial Nigeria is part of an effort to rethink the concept of modernity by challenging master narratives of Western modernity and investigating new perspectives on alternative modernities.
Ousmane Kane, Ph.D. (Political Science), Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, is Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His more recent books include
Intellectuels non europhones, (Codesria, 2002), and (with Jean-Louis Triaud)
Islam et islamisme au Sud du Sahara, (Karthala, 1998).
Kane provides considerable textual, theological knowledge, but what makes this book stand out and add to our understanding of new religious movements in Nigeria is his sociological imagination and his effort to move beyond the writings of religious leaders to the operation of a movement as a whole.' Brian Larkin,
The Journal of Religion,2005.