Benjamin Soares is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in Africa whose research focuses particularly on religious life from the early 20th century to the present. He has conducted research in Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan, as well as among West African Muslims in Europe and Asia. In recent work, he has looked at the connections between changing modalities of religious expression, different modes of belonging, and emergent social imaginaries in colonial and postcolonial West Africa. In addition to ongoing interests in religious encounters and religion, media, and the public sphere, he is studying contemporary Muslim public intellectuals in Africa.
Areas of Expertise (6)
Religion & Politics
Islam and Muslim Studies
Religion & Media
Religiosity and its others: lived Islam in West Africa and South IndiaSocial Anthropology
Filippo Osella and Benjamin Soares
Drawing on research about settings in South India and West Africa characterised by significant religious diversity, we reflect on the ways in which everyday religiosity among contemporary Muslims is constituted through difference and contestation. Our cases are from two ostensibly secular states – India and Nigeria – both former British colonies where secularism has been interrogated over the past few decades.