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Figures de l'islam: Connaissance et représentations des marabouts africains à Paris

Liliane Kuczynski
Archives de sciences sociales des religions
34e Année, No. 68.1 (Jul. - Sep., 1989), pp. 39-50
Published by: EHESS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30128567
Page Count: 12
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Figures de l'islam: Connaissance et représentations des marabouts africains à Paris
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Abstract

Through three approaches: the living conditions of African marabouts in France, their practice of magic and finally, their speech and representations (i.e. how the marabouts speak about themselves as well as how their clients and others judge them), an attempt has been made to define the dynamics of an Islam, central reference of the marabouts, which only a preestablished norm could consider as monolithic. The Islam of the marabouts is not the Islam of the specialists or of the mosques; it is rooted in pre-Islamic village cultures and its presence in daily life definitely gives it enormous sociological importance. The presence of the marabout in France, and especially his legal status, has shaped the sociological type of the marabout, shaking up the basic criteria used to define pretended authenticity. The hold of Islam can be seen in its practices, and the various degrees to which these are observed (from strict observance to a simple almost unconscious impregnation). As for representations, they leave Islam in an ambiguous place, held in esteem or not, according to circumstances and levels of discourse.

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