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Engendering A Hausa Vernacular Christian Practice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores some of the ways in which Hausa speaking Christians in the Maradi region of Niger have engaged in performative debate about the nature of Christianity and its relationship to Hausaness. In Niger many early Christians were native Hausa speakers, whereas in Nigeria often prominent Hausa speaking Christians were Middle Belt Christians drawing upon Hausa as a lingua franca, converts whose claim to Hausa-ness would inevitably be weak. The chapter argues that evangelical Christianity emerged in a context in which it had to prove itself to be vernacular in culture yet distinct from Islam. This competition with Islam in many ways set the terms of the performative debate that ensued. Women have had a particularly important role in shaping the religious practices through which this interplay has occurred, despite their marginalisation from positions of formal authority within the evangelical churches.

Keywords: Hausa speaking Christians; Islam; Niger; Nigeria



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