TSI Project on “Engaging the Mosque, the Church, and the Academy in West Africa for Transformation of Society

In June 2022, The Sanneh Institute launched a three-year research project with funding from the Templeton Religion Trust (TRT) for the exploration of the pacifist tradition of Islam in West Africa. The project has four main targeted outputs

  1. An inquiry into the pacifist tradition of West African Islam and biographical studies of leading historical and contemporary clerics of the tradition.  
  2. Commission the collection and translation of works by leading clerics of the pacifist tradition in local languages (Ajami) and document their personal stories. 
  3. Convene regional gatherings of Muslim and Christian scholars for the purpose of reviewing curricula, syllabi and textbooks in private Christian and Islamic schools and seminaries to enhance religious literacy. 
  4. Develop a network of Muslim and Christian academics for an ongoing scholarly study of themes of mutual interest and concern within Islam and Christianity in Africa and to model what Sir John calls “constructive competition.”

The project runs till May 31, 2025. For more information on the project, see the Project Background Paper.

Following the call for proposals for collaborative research between Muslim and Christian scholars, which ended in September 2022, six submissions have been selected and awarded for research. Twelve West African scholars, Muslims and Christians, have been awarded grants to research various aspects of the pacifist tradition in Islam. Two papers, one on the Ahmadiyya teaching on pacifism in West Africa and the other on the State of Ajami in West Africa, have been commissioned as part of the project to be undertaken jointly by Muslim and Christian scholars because of their relevance and importance to the subject area of our project. To view the grantees and the awarded research titles, click here.