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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Equiano's Turks and Christians: an eighteenth-century African view of Islam
Authors:Duffield, IanISNI
Edwards, PaulISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Studies (UCLA)
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
autobiographies (form)
About person:Olaudah Equiano (ca1745-ca1797)ISNI
Abstract:Since the eighteenth century there have been schools of thought, both black and white, advocating the idea of Islam as the 'natural' religion of Africa. This article goes back to San eighteen-century observer of both Islam and Christianity from an African view-point, Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745-97), who published his remarkable autobiography (The Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African) in 1789 (repr. ed., London, 1969). Equiano has been for many years a convinced Protestant Christian, but in his books he makes regularly reference to the religion and morals of the Igbo people, whom he recalled from childhood, and to the society and values of the Turks. The picture he draws of mid-eighteenth century Igbo society seems generally a very accurate one. He offers us the earliest defense of African social order to be written by an African and addressed to a white audience. Notes.