1. Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
  2. Research
  3. Contested Religion and Intellectual Culture

Contested Religion and Intellectual Culture

How does religiosity interrelate with morality and intellectual culture? The research unit Contested Religion takes this basic question that is at the heart of social life across the global south. Focusing on both contemporary and historical cases, the unit engages the ways in which religiosity is mobilized and invested in individual and collective life projects. How do both religiosity and knowledge inform and at the same time challenge political orders, eschatological aspirations, and moral norms? What forms, sites and agents of intellectual culture emerge within that context? Although engaging primarily Muslim contexts, the unit is particularly interested in the interactions between Muslim and their non-Muslim neighbors. Consequently, exclusionary politics, sectarianism, collaboration and strategic borrowing within and between groups and communities are important relational modalities, which the research unit analyses.

Research Projects

Religion, Morality and Boko in West Africa: Students Training for a Good Life (Acronym: Remoboko)

Remoboko is a study of religiosity and how it affects secular education (boko, in Hausa) in West Africa. It focuses on the presence, competition and conflict between secularism, Salafism and Pentecostalism on four campuses (Université Abdou Moumouni, Niamey, Niger; University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; Université de Lomé, Togo; and Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Bénin). It examines how students that seek a degree that would ensure them a better life, resort to Salafism and Pentecostalism. How boko in this context is both appealing and rejected is at the core of the project.

Islam Burkina Faso Collection

Alongside his research project, Dr. Frédérick Madore works on the Islam Burkina Faso Collection. It is an open-access database containing over 2,900 archival documents, newspaper articles, Islamic publications, photographs, and bibliographical references related to Islam and Muslims in Burkina Faso. It will be part of a larger collaborative digital database on Islam in West Africa, which will include digitized material on Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo and Niger.



Video report from the conference "From Senegal to Nigeria: The Modernity of Islam in West Africa. Practices, Influences, and Trajectories.", 19.-23. November 2019 in Niamey, Niger.