Muslim-Christian Encounters in Africa (Islam in Africa, 6)

By Benjamin F Soares

This well timed assortment bargains new views on Muslim-Christian encounters in Africa. operating opposed to political and scholarly traditions that hold Muslims and Christians aside, the essays during this multidisciplinary quantity find African Muslims and Christians inside of a standard analytical body. In a sequence of historic and ethnographic case experiences from around the African continent, the authors contemplate the a number of methods Muslims and Christians have encountered one another, borrowed or appropriated from each other, and occasionally additionally clashed. participants recast assumptions concerning the making and transgressing of spiritual obstacles, Christian-Muslim relatives, and conversion. This attractive assortment is a protracted past due try to grapple with the multi-faceted and altering encounters of Muslims and Christians in Africa.

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I must comic strip with a wide brush yet i am hoping that the size of my adventure in West Africa, encompassing 4 a long time, and my educational formation as a historian of faith focusing on this region, will continue me from generalizing too simply. the purpose de Départ in conventional different types of Faith1 each non secular person has a context during which she or he exists religiously; there is not any such man or woman because the perfect, decontextualized Jew, Christian, Muslim or Buddhist. a few enthusiastic yet a little bit naive Jews, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists may well item to the generalizations i've got simply made, announcing that not less than Moses, Jesus, Mu˙ammad and Siddartha Gautama have been respectively the quintessence in their respective sorts of religion. yet then, in case you research the portrait of Moses, Jesus, Mu˙ammad or the Buddha that your interlocutor is counting on, you'll find a specific context underlying the Moses or the Jesus or the Mu˙ammad or the Buddha of the appropriate portrait. Context doesn't mean imperfection; it in simple terms asserts humanity, historicity, concreteness in a specific social and 1 i take advantage of the phrases “faith” and “tradition”, instead of conventional faith or indigenous faith, in additional or much less a similar feel within which the overdue Wilfred Cantwell Smith used the phrases “faith” and “cumulative culture” to interchange the overly reified time period “religion”: “By ‘faith’ I suggest own religion . . . [,] an internal non secular event or involvement of a selected individual; the impingement on him of the transcendent, putative or actual. via ‘cumulative culture’ I suggest the total mass of brazenly target info that represent the historic deposit, because it have been, of the previous non secular lifetime of the group in query: temples, scriptures, theological structures, dance styles, felony and different social associations, conventions, ethical codes, myths, and so forth; whatever that may be transmitted from one individual, one iteration, to a different, and that an historian can detect. ” Wilfred Cantwell Smith, The that means and finish of faith: a brand new method of the non secular Traditions of Mankind (New York: Macmillan, 1962), p. 141. in my finish is my starting 189 cultural atmosphere. The Muslims and Christians of Nigeria, like any different Muslim and Christian on this planet, perform their Islam or their Christianity in a specific environment. this can be specially obvious in what we will be able to nonetheless say traditionally in regards to the first Muslims and Christians within the sector that's now the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Neither Nigerian Muslims nor Nigerian Christians at the present time are completely decided of their perform and knowing of Islam and Christianity via their origins specifically ancient settings or specific social constructions. yet an exam of these historic origins and specific social buildings may possibly function a hermeneutic, no longer totally exhaustive, for realizing the place Nigerian Muslims and Nigerian Christians find themselves this day. the place we commence, traditionally and socially, is no less than partly determinative of the place we finish.

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