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Conference announcement

The Sharia Debate and the Shaping of Muslim and Christian Identities in Northern Nigeria
University Campus, GW II, July 11th – 12th

The project “The Sharia Debate and the Shaping of Muslim and Christian Identities in Northern Nigeria since 1999,” funded by the Volkswagen foundation, analyses the shaping of religious identities in the context of the Sharia debate in Northern Nigeria. The various steps taken since 1999 to implement Sharia in twelve of Nigeria’s northern states are the most significant and controversial changes in Nigeria’s laws in many years. The purpose of the project is to document these changes in the law, to collect data on their implementation so far, and to study the effects the new developments are having on the shaping of Muslim and Christian Identities in Northern Nigeria. In an international and interdisciplinary conference, to be held at Bayreuth University, the first results of this joint research project involving academics based in Nigeria (University of Jos), Germany (Bayreuth University) and the US (Luther Seminary, St. Paul) will be presented. Scholars, researchers, students, professionals and other groups interested in studies on Islam and Christianity and Christian-Muslim relations in Africa are invited to attend and participate in this conference.

Expected guests are Umar Danfulani and Musa Gaiya, Department of Religious Studies, Jamila Nasir and Philip Ostien, Faculty of Law, University of Jos, Nigerian and Frieder Ludwig, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. These scholars are simultaneously part of the international research project on current religious and judicial developments in Northern Nigeria mentioned above. They will be in Bayreuth throughout June and July 2003. Saudatu Shehu Mahdi, General Secretary of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), Abuja, Ibrahim Na’iya Sada, Director of Centre for Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Yusufu Turaki, Education Consultant of Evengelical Churches of West Africa (ECWA) and Regional Director of International Bible Society Nigeria, Enugu have also been invited to the conference. Mrs. Mahdi, a lawyer and women’s rights activist will give a talk on the role of women in the current process of implementation of Islamic law in Northern Nigeria. Mr. Sada, member of the Sharia implementation commission of Kaduna state, plans to present his Muslim point of view concerning the current debate on Islamic law in Nigeria. In his presentation Mr. Turkai, who specializes in the history of Christianity in Nigeria, will discuss Christian reactions to certain aspects of the current religious and political developments. The conference is organized by Franz Kogelmann.


By Franz Kogelmann

First published in NAB Newsletter of African Studies at Bayreuth University, Vol. II/1 2003, p. 15-16,


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