UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY: A CASE STUDY OF CHRISLAM IN LAGOS
Africa - Journal of the International African Institute
This article presents an ethnographic case study of Chrislam, a series of religious movements that fuse Christian and Muslim beliefs and practices, in its socio-cultural and political-economic setting in Nigeria's former capital Lagos. In contrast to conventional approaches that study religious movements in Africa as syncretic forms of 'African Christianity' or 'African Islam', I suggest that 'syncretism' is a misleading term to describe Chrislam. In fact, Chrislam provides a rationale for
... rationale for scrutinizing the very concept of syncretism and offers an alternative analytical case for understanding its mode of religious pluralism. To account for the religious plurality in Chrislam, I employ assemblage theory because it proposes novel ways of looking at Chrislam's religious mix that are in line with the way in which its worshippers perceive their religiosity. The underlying idea in Chrislam's assemblage of Christianity and Islam is that to be a Christian or Muslim alone is not enough to guarantee success in this world and the hereafter; therefore, Chrislam worshippers participate in Christian as well as Muslim practices, appropriating the perceived powers of both.