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Conference announcement

Conference on “Comparative Perspectives on Sharia in Nigeria”, 15th – 17th of January 2004 + Workshop on “Sharia Debates and their Perception by Christians and Muslims in selected African Countries”, 14th – 15th of January 2004, University of Jos, Nigeria,

2004-01-conference-jos-1Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, the chair of Religious Studies (Ulrich Berner) in close collaboration with the University of Jos organises a conference on “Comparative Perspectives on Sharia in Nigeria”. This conference is part of an ongoing research project on the sharia debate and the shaping of Christian and Muslim identities in Northern Nigeria. One of the major results of a first symposium on this topic – it took place in July 2003 at the University of Bayreuth – was that there is an urgent need of further research on this topic on a comparative transnational level. To fill this important gap will be the aim of the second conference in Jos. It is organised as a symposium where a set of main speakers present their papers. Each of these main papers will be commented by two Nigeria academics. The main speakers and their topics will be:

  • Abdulkader Tayob, Nijmegen University, “The Demand for Sharia in African Democratization Processes:  Pitfalls of Opportunities?”
  • Rudolph Peters, University of Amsterdam, “Survey of Sharia Implementation in the Muslim World Today”
  • Gerrie ter Haar, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, “Religion: Source of Conflict or Resource for Peace?”
  • Abdullahi an-Na'im, Emory University, “The Future of Sharia”
  • W. Cole Durham, Brigham Young University, “Nigeria’s ‘State Religion’ Question in Comparative Perspective”
  • Rosalind Hackett, University of Notre Dame, “Rethinking the Role of Religion in the Public Sphere: Local and Global Perspectives”
  • John Reitz, University of Iowa, “Freedom of Religion and Its Limitations: Judicial Standards for Deciding Particular Cases“
  • Sanusi Lamido Samusi, United Bank for Africa, Lagos, topic yet to be announced.

We expect guests mainly from Northern Nigeria but also interested scholars, researchers, students, professionals and other groups from abroad interested in studies on Islam and Christianity and Christian-Muslim relations in Africa. Besides this important conference we are organising a workshop on “Sharia Debates and their Perception by Christians and Muslims in selected African Countries” to be held 14th – 15th of January 2004 also at the University of Jos. There will be guests from the Sudan, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. For further information please contact the organisers: Philip Ostien ( and Franz Kogelmann (


By Franz Kogelmann

First published in NAB Newsletter of African Studies at Bayreuth University, Vol. II/2 2003, p. 16,


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