This is an exploration of the history of a West African society in the 20th century, with specific reference to the evolution of Islamic schooling. The research focuses on the social and political processes that have produced new forms of Muslim expression and self perception. This is a study of the social and political dynamics of a Muslim society (the Republic of Mali, formerly Soudan Francais), where the Islamic religion is a powerful defining element. The text argues that this Muslim society is religiously pluralistic. There is a detailed history of Muslim schools which functions as an anchor around which a complex array of social and political factors are arranged.
LOUIS BRENNER is Emeritus Professor of the History of Religion in Africa, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His other publications include Controlling Knowledge: Religion, Power and Schooling in a West African Society (2000), Muslim Identity and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa (1993), and Reflexions sur le savoir islamique en Afrique de l'ouest (1985).
Knowledge and power in pre-colonial Muslim societies; Medersas, French and Islamic; reform and counter-reform - the politics of Muslim schooling in the 1950s; discourses of knowledge, power and identity; power relations in the postcolony; the dynamics of Medersa schooling; Islam, the state and the ideology of development.