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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Certain Knowledge, Contestable Authority: Power and Practice on the Islamic Periphery
Author:Lambek, Michael J.ISNI
Year:1990
Periodical:American Ethnologist (ISSN 0094-0496)
Volume:17
Issue:1
Period:February
Pages:23-40
Language:English
Geographic term:Comoros
Subjects:Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/645250
Abstract:The relationships among texts, readers, and moral community are explored in order to understand the dissonance and interplay of personal and textual authority in local Islamic practice (Sunni, Shaf'i branch) among Malagasy-speaking villagers of Mayotte (Comoro Islands, East Africa). A political economy of knowledge approach is linked to an analysis of recitation as a ritual activity in which illocutionary force exceeds referential meaning. The discussion has relevance for the understanding of the relationship between religious knowledge, power, and action in Islamic societies as well as of the interface between the oral and the written more generally. [Abstract journal]
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