Mamadou Diouf: State and Sufi Islam in Senegal

Senegal has been hailed as a model of "Good Islam". The social contract-the formal and informal system of exchange - established between the Sufi clericals and the state, has been credited for the political stability of the postcolonial state. My lecture examines the complex web of relationships -the "Islamo-Wolof model"- and the active and changing forms of the state and Sufi brotherhoods management of religious pluralism since the colonial period. The lecture is also an attempt to locate the Senegalese religion, state, society relations in the global conceptual architecture of the secularism-laïcité debate.

Mamadou Diouf is Leitner Family Professor of African Studies and History at Columbia University, where he also leads the Institute of African Studies. Prior to teaching at Columbia, he taught at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Cheikh Anta Diop University, Senegal. He is the author, editor and co-author of several other works including: Islam, Tolerance, Democracy and the Sufis in Senegal, 2013; New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, Power and Femininity edited with Mara Leichtman, 2009.

Shail Mayaram is Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Friday, 21 March 2014
CSDS Seminar Room