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Religious History As Social History

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Chapter Summary

Traditions collected from both religious practitioners and nonpractitioners relating to events such as the Baardheere ?Jihad? and the Geledi wars of the nineteenth century commonly point to faith as determining society?s fate. This chapter demonstrates that, from the perspective of nineteenth and twentieth century Benaadiris, faith was perceived as a very real and all pervasive force that shaped the past and guided the community through times of peril. It outlines Benaadiri history to just before the rise of the ṭuruq in the late nineteenth century and the social crises that precipitated them. More importantly, however, it has sought to demonstrate the importance of religion in shaping both the Benaadiri sense of their past as well as their approach to social crises. Virtually all locally produced accounts of Benaadiri history discuss that past in terms of their faith. All issues, whether social, political or, economic were ultimately resolved through that devotion.

Keywords: ṭuruq; Baardheere ?Jihad?; Geledi wars; religious practitioners; social crises



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