Sanneh, Lamin. Beyond jihad: the pacifist tradition in West African Islam

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Author: J.P. Smaldone
Date: Feb. 2017
Publisher: American Library Association CHOICE
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 226 words
Lexile Measure: 1190L

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Sanneh, Lamin. Beyond jihad: the pacifist tradition in West African Islam. Oxford, 2016. 352p bibl index ISBN 9780199351619 cloth, $34.95; ISBN 9780199351626 ebook, contact publisher for price



2015-49270 MARC

A well-published expert on West African Islam and comparative religion, Sanneh (Yale) has drawn fully on this dual specialization to give us Beyond Jihad. His interpretation of the introduction and spread of Islam in West Africa over a period of more than a thousand years centers on the crucial, interrelated processes of missionary and commercial transmission, local reception and adaptation, and ultimately mutual accommodation and synthesis. Characterizing this as a "pacifist tradition" may be misleading to those who understand the term as categorical opposition to war on religious or moral grounds, and there is certainly a tradition of West African jihad. But Sanneh makes a persuasive argument that the growth of West African Islam has been, and continues to be, primarily pacific rather than coercive. The book is organized thematically within a broad chronological framework, which at times seems to diminish the sense of continuity. Nevertheless, the level of scholarship, critical use of historical and religious source material, and insightful interdisciplinary approach make this book not only a good read but an outstanding contribution to Islamic, West African, and comparative religious history. Summing Up: *** Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.--J. P. Smaldone, Georgetown University

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A479868346