Edge of Islam Power, Personhood, and Ethnoreligious Boundaries on the Kenya Coast

ISBN-10: 0822345099
ISBN-13: 9780822345091
Edition: 2009
Authors: Janet McIntosh
List price: $27.95 Buy it from $13.16
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Description: In this theoretically rich exploration of ethnic and religious tensions, Janet McIntosh demonstrates how the relationship between two ethnic groups in the bustling Kenyan town of Malindi is reflected in and shaped by the different ways the two  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 7/29/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.13" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

In this theoretically rich exploration of ethnic and religious tensions, Janet McIntosh demonstrates how the relationship between two ethnic groups in the bustling Kenyan town of Malindi is reflected in and shaped by the different ways the two groups relate to Islam. While Swahili and Giriama peoples are historically interdependent, today Giriama find themselves literally and metaphorically on the margins, peering in at a Swahili life of greater social and economic privilege. Giriama are frustrated to find their ethnic identity disparaged and their versions of Islam sometimes rejected by Swahili.The Edge of Islamencompasses themes as wide-ranging as spirit possession, divination, healing rituals, madness, symbolic pollution, ideologies of money, linguistic code-switching, and syncretism and its alternatives. McIntosh shows how both the differing versions of Islam practiced by Swahili and Giriama and their differing understandings of personhood have figured in the growing divisions between the two groups. Her ethnographic analysis helps to explain why Giriama view Islam, a supposedly universal religion, as belonging more deeply to certain ethnic groups than to others; why Giriama use Islam in their rituals despite the fact that so many do not consider the religion their own; and how Giriama appropriations of Islam subtly reinforce a distance between the religion and themselves.The Edge of Islamadvances understanding of ethnic essentialism, religious plurality, spirit possession, local understandings of personhood, and the many meanings of "Islam" across cultures.

Acknowledgments
Note on Language
Introduction. The Edge of Islam
Origin Stories: The Rise of Ethnic Boundaries on the Coast
Blood Money in Motion: Profit, Personhood, and the Jini Narratives
Toxic Bodies and Intentional Minds: Hegemony and Ideology in Giriama Conversion Experiences
Rethinking Syncretism: Religious Pluralism and Code Choice in a Context of Ethnoreligious Tension
Divination and Madness: The Powers and Dangers of Arabic
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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