Life Trajectories in the Language Games of Islamic Reform and Pentecostalism in Cape Town

Main Article Content

Abdulkader I. Tayob https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7615-2324

Keywords

Religious leadership, charisma, religious reform, Cape Town, post-apartheid South Africa, Islamic reform, Pentecost

Abstract

I present two individuals in Cape Town as they became religious leaders in Islamic reform and Christian Pentecostalism respectively. This essay pays attention to the place of charisma generated in their practices, how they relate to existing traditions and institutions, and how they introduce innovations over their life trajectories. Unlike most studies on Pentecostalism and Islamic reform, this essay analyses lesser-known leaders in their respective congregations and communities to illustrate what Wittgenstein has called a ‘language game’. The latter offers a perspective on how individuals inhabit a movement without being constrained by it. The language games of these movements come alive in the life trajectories of my subjects.

Abstract 25 | PDF Downloads 38

References

al-Azami, M.M. 1985. On Schact’s Origins of Muhammadan jurisprudence. New York: John Wiley.
Ali, A. 2000. Islamism: Emancipation, protest and identity. Journal of Mus-lim Minority Affairs 20, 1: 11-28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/ 13602000050008870
Anderson, A.H. 1999. The Lekganyanes and prophecy in the Zion Christian Church. Journal of Religion in Africa 29, 3: 285-312. doi: https:// doi.org/10.1163/157006699X00368
Anderson, A.H. 2005. New African initiated Pentecostalism and charismatics in South Africa. Journal of Religion in Africa 35, 1: 66-92. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/1570066052995843
Assman, A. 2001. Three memory anchors: Affect, symbol, trauma. In Neu-wirth, A. & A. Pflitsch (eds.): Crisis and memory in Islamic societies. Proceedings of the Third Summer Academy of the Working Group Modernity and Islam held at the Orient Institute of the German Ori-ental Society in Beirut. Beirut: Ergon Verlag Wurzburg in Kommis-sion.
Balcomb, T. 2007. Well healed and well-heeled: Pentecostals in the new South Africa – their message, structures and modes of socio-political intervention. Missionalia 35, 3: 30-42.
Bang, A.K. 2014. Islamic Sufi networks in the Western Indian Ocean (c. 1880-1940): Ripples of Reform. Leiden: Brill. doi: https://doi.org/ 10.1163/9789004276543
Brigaglia, A. 2017. The Sultan, the Sardauna and the Sufi: Politics and Inter-Tariqa conflict in Northern Nigeria, 1956-1965. Kano Journal of His-tory 3, 1. 19 pages.
Carpenter, L.M. 2010. Gendered sexuality over the life course: A conceptual framework. Sociological Perspectives 53, 2: 155-178. doi: https://doi. org/10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155
Humphreys, R.S. 1982. The contemporary resurgence in the context of Mod-ern Islam. In Dessouki, A.E.H. (ed.): Islamic resurgence in the Arab world. New York: Praeger.
Imam Ghazali Institute. n.d. Habib ‘Umar Ben Hafiz: A bibliography. Availa-ble at: https://www.imamghazali.org/resources/habib-umar-biogra-phy. (Accessed on November 21, 2023.)
Jeppie, S. 1991. Amandla and Allahu Akbar: Muslims and resistance in South Africa c. 1970-1987. Journal for the Study of Religion 4, 1: 3-19.
Kalu, O.U. 2009. A discursive interpretation of African Pentecostalism. Fides et Historia 41, 1: 71-90. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/ 9780195340006.003.0004
Laborde, C., É. Lelièvre, G. Vivier, & H. Coleman 2007. Trajectories and landmark events: How people narrate their lives, analysis of life course facts and perceptions. Population 62, 3: 489-505. doi: https:// doi.org/10.3917/pope.703.0489
Lepore, J. 2001. Historians who love too much: Reflections on microhistory and biography. Journal of American History 88, 1: 129-144. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/2674921
Marshall, R. 2009. Political spiritualities: The Pentecostal revolution in Ni-geria. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. doi: https://doi.org/ 10.7208/chicago/9780226507149.001.0001
Maxwell, D. 1999. Historicizing Christian independency: The Southern Afri-can Pentecostal movement c. 1908-1960. The Journal of African His-tory 40, 2: 243-264. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S002185379800 735X
McCauley, J.F. 2013. Africa’s new big man rule? Pentecostalism and Patron-age in Ghana. African Affairs 112, 446: 1-21. doi: https://doi.org/ 10.1093/afraf/ads072
Meyer, B. 2004. Christianity in Africa: From African independent to Pente-costal-Charismatic Churches. Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 447-474. doi: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203. 143835
Moosa, E. 2000. Worlds ‘Apart’: Tablighi Jama’at in South Africa under apartheid, 1963-1993. In Masud, M.K. (ed.): Travellers in faith: Studies of the Tablighi Jama`at as a transnational Islamic movement for faith renewal. Leiden: Brill. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/ 9789004453036_015
Moosa, E. 2015. What is a Madrasa? Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.5149/northcarolina/9781469 620138.001.0001
Morton, B. 2017. Elias Letwaba, the Apostolic Faith Mission, and the spread of black Pentecostalism in South Africa. Studia Historiae Ecclesias-ticae 43, 2. 17 pages. doi: https://doi.org/10.17159/2412-4265/2016/ 1333
Njogu, G.K. 2020. Liberationist icon or conservative leader? Ismael Mwai Mabiu’s Afro-Pentecostalism and ecclesiastical leadership in Kenya. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 46, 3. 14 pages. doi: https://doi.org/ 10.25159/2412-4265/7604
Rabelo, M. & I. Souza 2003. Temporality and experience on the meaning of Nervoso in the trajectory of urban working-class women in Northeast Brazil. Ethnography 4, 3: 333-361. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/ 146613810343003
Riley, A. 2004. Crisis, habitus, and intellectual trajectory. Revue Européenne des Sciences Sociales 42, 129: 307-314. doi: https://doi.org/ 10.4000/ress.433
Robinson, F. 1993. Technology and religious change: Islam and the impact of print. Modern Asian Studies 27, 1: 229-251. doi: https://doi.org/ 10.1017/S0026749X00016127
Roy, O. 2003. Globalised Islam: Fundamentalism, de-territorialisation and the search for the new Ummah. London: Hurst & Co.
Tayob, A.I. 1995. Islamic resurgence in South Africa: The Muslim youth movement. Cape Town: UCT Press.
Tayob, A.I. 2014. Back to the roots, the origins and the beginning: Reflec-tions on revival (tajdīd) in Islamic discourse. Temenos: Nordic Jour-nal of Comparative Religion 50, 2: 257-271. doi: https://doi.org/ 10.33356/temenos.48462
Ukah, A. 2018. Neither Jew nor Greek? Class, ethnicity, and race in the Pen-tecostal movement in Africa. In Afolayan, A., O. Yacob-Haliso, & T. Falola (eds.): Pentecostalism and politics in Africa. Cham: Springer. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74911-2_11
Vahed, G. 2003. Contesting ‘orthodoxy’: The Tablighi-Sunni conflict among South African Muslims in the 1970s and 1980s. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 23, 2: 313-334. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13602 00032000139956
Wittgenstein, L. 1958. Philosophical investigations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Wright, Z.V. 2015. Living knowledge in West African Islam: The Sufi commu-nity of Ibrahim Niasse. Leiden: Brill. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/ 9789004289468