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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:In the Eye of the Beholder: Sufi and Saint in North Africa and the Colonial Production of Knowledge, 1830-1900
Author:Clancy-Smith, Julia A.ISNI
Periodical:Africana Journal
Geographic terms:Maghreb
Subjects:Islamic studies
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Islam in colonial North Africa was largely equated with the cult of popular saints and organized sufism by European observers throughout the nineteenth century. The study of rural religion was initially the work of non-specialists, particularly amateur military ethnographers. French interest in and writing about marabouts and 'confréries' went through several stages that were dictated by political and military concerns. Three strands of writing in the emerging French sociology of Islam can be discerned during the past century: the tradition of the Bureaux arabes; that of traveller-adventurers; and the academic tradition based at the 'École d'Alger'. This review analyses those writers who were either representative of currents of thinking or whose ideas contributed to the building of a model or colonial 'sufi canon', that began to take shape in the course of the nineteenth century. Notes, ref.