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Salafism in Nigeria
Islam, Preaching, and Politics

$34.99 (C)

Part of The International African Library

  • Date Published: July 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316610190

$ 34.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The spectre of Boko Haram and its activities in Nigeria dominates both media and academic analysis of Islam in the region. But, as Alexander Thurston argues here, beyond the sensational headlines this group generates, the dynamics of Muslim life in northern Nigeria remain poorly understood. Drawing on interviews with leading Salafis in Nigeria as well as on a rereading of the history of the global Salafi movement, this volume explores how a canon of classical and contemporary texts defines Salafism. Examining how these texts are interpreted and - crucially - who it is that has the authority to do so, Thurston offers a systematic analysis of curricula taught in Saudi Arabia and how they shape religious scholars' approach to religion and education once they return to Africa. Essential for scholars of religion and politics, this unique text explores how the canon of Salafism has been used and refined, from Nigeria's return to democracy to the jihadist movement Boko Haram.

    • Offers a close analysis of Islamic texts, aiding readers' understanding of the interplay of texts and politics in contemporary Muslim societies
    • Historically contextualises Salafism and explores a new definition of this movement within this context
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Alexander Thurston’s book, Salafism in Nigeria, is an important work on the modern study of Islam in Nigeria. Indeed, the work is a pioneering publication on the research of the Salafi movement in that country.' Mukhtar Umar Bunza, Reading Religion

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316610190
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: defining Salafism, analysing canons
    Part I. Salafism and its Transmission:
    1. The canon and canonizers
    2. Africans and Saudi Arabia
    3. Nigerians in Medina
    Part II. The Canon in Action:
    4. Teaching the canon
    5. The canon in religious debates and electronic media
    6. The canon in politics
    Part III. Boko Haram and the Canon:
    7. Boko Haram from Salafism to jihadism
    8. Reclaiming the canon
    Appendix 1: the Sermon of Necessity
    Glossary of persons
    Glossary of Arabic terms

  • Author

    Alexander Thurston, Georgetown University, Washington DC
    Alexander Thurston is Visiting Assistant Professor of African Studies at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He has conducted field research in Nigeria and Senegal, and has published in African Affairs, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of Religion in Africa, and Islamic Africa, as well as with the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Carnegie Endowment.

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