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Islam in the Horn of Africa: A Comparative Literary Approach

Objective

"The study of Africa as a region ""peripheral"" to mainstream Islamic studies helps a deeper understanding of the cultural dynamics of Islam. While North African Islam has been subject to extensive research, the Muslim cultures of sub-Saharan Africa have received relatively little attention; most of it paid to West African regions. This project will contribute to both African and Islamic studies by producing for the first time a critical evaluation of textual witnesses of Islamic culture in the Horn of Africa (esp. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somaliland) and therefore considerably contribute to the change in the state-of-the-art in both Islamic and African studies.
The comparative study will be the first to assess simultaneously types and contents of texts, their transmission history, and the role they (as well as the respective authors and copyists) have played in the culture and identity formation in both the Horn of Africa and the “heartland” Islamic countries. Both Arabic texts as well as those written in local languages (using Arabic alphabet: ajami) will be considered, allowing an evaluation of linguistic and cultural influences. A reevaluation of the external Islamic sources dealing with these areas will complete the picture.
Competences in philology, history, manuscript studies, linguistics and computer science will be merged in producing a Digital Research Environment for North-East African Islam. More than a corpus of centrally collected data, it will include images accompanied by searchable descriptive metadata, digital text editions, bibliography as well as an open access database for quantitative and qualitative comparative analysis of text and documentary corpora as well as their linguistic and graphic features will serve as a tool for the project and as a basis for future research.
The research findings will provide a deeper understanding of Muslim thought and proselytism, and the effects Islam has had on society."

Field of science

  • /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/religion/islam

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-ADG_20120411
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET
Address
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Denmark
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 499 689,98
Principal investigator
Alessandro Gori (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Hans-Christian Køie Poulsen (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (2)

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 1 499 689,98
Address
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Alessandro Gori (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Hans-Christian Køie Poulsen (Mr.)
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE

Participation ended

Italy
EU contribution
€ 50 510,02
Address
Piazza San Marco 4
50121 Florence
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Rita Svandrlik (Prof.)