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Title:Charisma comes to town: Mouride urbanization 1945-1986
Author:Cruise O'Brien, D.B.ISNI
Book title:Charisma and brotherhood in African Islam
Editors:Coulon, C.
Cruise O'Brien, D.B.
City of publisher:Oxford
Publisher:Clarendon Press
Geographic term:Senegal
Subjects:Muslim brotherhoods
Abstract:Agrarian crisis in northern Senegal has prompted beleaguered disciples of the Mouride brotherhood to seek economic salvation in the town. Urbanization would seem to be a threat to the rural saintly establishment. The country saints find their authority to be threatened by the rival leadership emerging in the town. They are challenged from two sides - from one side by the brotherhood's more successful traders, and from the other by the new generation of Western-educated urban disciples. This chapter describes the development of an urban Mouride community in terms of two models, one of introversion and the other of extroversion. The organization of Mouride traders, sociologically inward-looking, reflects the understanding that the brotherhood's commercial community thrives best with the most limited social contacts outside of the brotherhood's own networks. Mouride ritual serves as the bond of a commercial association; no attempt is made to win new converts. The other model is that of the Mouride intelligentsia. Here, proselytism is the central purpose; the intellectuals see themselves as the best heirs to the charismatic legacy of the founder, Amadu Bamba. Notes, ref.