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Shi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal by Mara A. Leichtman

Shi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal

Part of the Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa Series


Shi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal by Mara A. Leichtman

Mara A. Leichtman offers an in-depth study of Shi`i Islam in two very different communities in Senegal: the well-established Lebanese diaspora and Senegalese converts from Sunni to Shi`i Islam of recent decades. Sharing a minority religious status in a predominantly Sunni Muslim country, each group is cosmopolitan in its own way. Leichtman provides new insights into the everyday lives of Shi`i Muslims in Africa and the dynamics of local and global Islam. She explores the influence of Hizbullah and Islamic reformist movements, and offers a corrective to prevailing views of Sunni-Shi`i hostility, demonstrating that religious coexistence is possible in a context such as Senegal.


This book provides an original and timely analysis of the dynamics of religion and race in transnational migration. . . . Leichtman's book is sure to make an impact on African studies but should be read by non- Africanists as well. * Journal of West African History * [Leichtman's] volume is a theoretically packed, historically grounded and ethnographically rich exploration into minority religious communities and their migrations. * Journal of Modern African Studies * This book is highly recommended for anyone with interest in African and Middle Eastern Affairs, Islam and Religious Studies, and Peace Studies. * African Studies Quarterly *

About the Author

Mara A. Leichtman is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Muslim Studies at Michigan State University. She is editor (with Mamadou Diouf) of New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, Power, and Femininity.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th August 2015


Mara A. Leichtman

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Indiana University Press


320 pages


African history
Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography



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