n Journal for Islamic Studies - Traditional Islam and pedagogical change in West Africa : the Majlis and the Madrasa in Medina-Baye, Senegal

Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0257-7062



Epistemological differences between traditional and reformist trends in West African Islam are often accounted for in the uneven implementation of pedagogical changes since colonial times. Reformist versions of Islam have formed , characterized by rationalized curricula similar to the modern Western classroom. Here, knowledge is taken from texts, and teachers emphasize Arabic literacy. Traditionalists, mostly adherents to Sufi orders () and the classical schools of jurisprudence (), assert the continued importance of person-to-person knowledge transmission that takes place in the learning circle (). Here, the student's disposition or character is primarily emphasized, and the teacher embodies Islamic religiosity.

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