Since the nineteenth century, North Africa’s religious life has witnessed a slow and uncertain metamorphosis. It is still unable to settle into a constant and sustainable model. The traditional order could not resist the emergence of the nation-state, modern education and new forms of social organisation. However, religion has remained on the margins of these developments. Although used in the anticolonial struggle, religion was then abandoned during the formation of the postcolonial state. Yet the difficulties faced by governments since the 1970s have entrusted religion with a predominantly opposition function, which is negative and sometimes violent. This paper argues that only neo-reformism can give a positive spin to religion’s role in politics and can serve as the basis for a new religious order.
Paper produced within the framework of the New-Med Research Network, September 2015.
1. Tradition and modernity
2. Metamorphoses: the “reformist” religion
3. Metamorphoses: “identitary” and national religion
4. The outbreak of religious order: sectarianism and globalisation