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Choreographies of Shared Sacred SitesReligion, Politics, and Conflict Resolution$
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Elazar Barkan and Karen Barkey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169943

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169943.001.0001

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Religious Antagonism and Shared Sanctuaries in Algeria

Religious Antagonism and Shared Sanctuaries in Algeria

Chapter:
(p.97) 3 Religious Antagonism and Shared Sanctuaries in Algeria
Source:
Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites
Author(s):

Dionigi Albera

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231169943.003.0004

This chapter considers Muslim attendance at a Marian sanctuary in Algeria, Our Lady of Africa in Algiers, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. It examines the sanctuary's relationship to a changing political environment. It analyzes how the political background frames the context for the choreography of daily life at this Catholic site, paying attention to the complexity of the interplay between different forces and interests in the colonial and, later, postcolonial state. Moreover, it takes the issue of proselytism into account as a key factor in order to understand the political context and the symbolic repercussions of Muslim attendance at a Christian sanctuary. It shows that Muslim people (and also some Jews) rapidly adopted the supernatural resources offered by the semiotics of the new sanctuary as a part of the repertoire of an eclectic devotional practice that seemed more attentive to the efficacy of the shrine than to its religious affiliation.

Keywords:   Muslim attendance, Marian sanctuary, Algeria, Our Lady of Africa, proselytism, Christian sanctuary

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