Die Ordnung hinter der Ordnung. Ethnographie einer islamischen Geheimwissenschaft (Senegal)


Dr. Tobias Kuhn

Research Area:


A Marabout can be a Sufi-Scholar, a Magician, or a teacher of the Koran. Marabouts in Senegal act as leaders of economic and politic networks, as healers, judges, teachers, mediators in conflict situations, spiritual and personal guides, psychologists and religious authorities. Many Senegalese have their personal Marabout as mentor and protector; the influence of Marabouts in Senegal on political and social processes is therefore quite great.In their daily work Marabouts use magical techniques as well as their societal position and social techniques to solve different kinds of problems of their clients. In dispute settlements Marabouts act as mediators or Qadis; so their knowledge about the sharia becomes important. The aim of this project is to analyze the stabilizing or destabilizing activities of different Marabouts and to focus on the relation between their world view and their acting. I try to look at the relation between the concrete social dimension and the more abstract magical or religious dimension of their activities. For this I followed two paths: first I accompanied Marabouts and tried to learn as much as possible about their magical science. Secondly I analyzed cases of conflicts in an inductive manner and thereby illustrated the views of the actors involved.