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Wrapping Authority

Updated May 14, 2022
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Wrapping Authority essay

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After around 2000 a growing number of women in Dakar have come to Senegal to serve publicly as spiritual leaders for both men and women. When urban youth transform to the Fay a Tijāniyya Sufi Islamic movement in pursuit of meaning and culture, these women offer instruction in practicing Islam and fostering spiritual awareness of Allah. Although women Islamic leaders may seem controversial in a setting in which women have seldom exerted Islamic authority, they have caused relatively little controversy.

The Wrapping Authority shares these women’s experiences and discusses how they have built forms that make them appear normal to themselves and those around them. Addressing the prevailing image of Islam as a religious religion, with stringent rules for women in particular, Joseph Hill shows how women incorporate ideals usually identified with devout Muslim women into their leadership. These female leaders portray spiritual instruction as a form of loving motherhood; they transform devotional cooking into a base of divine power and prestige; they blend shyness, concealing clothes, and other types of feminine self-wrapping into exceptional modesty, secret wisdom, and mystical mysticism.

The book explores the complexity of female religious leadership and its expression through piety and performance, whether through eating, motherhood, and/ or through the use of a female voice. Hill constructs these religious acts by means of semiotic ‘wrapping’ (as opposed to ‘veiling’), as it offers a more comprehensive theoretical context for his idea. The book will be of interest to those who focus on gender and women in Islam, as well as to those who specialize in modern Sufism, West African Islam, and Islam anthropology.

For example in Chapter 3, in the section “Separating Humility from Humiliation” gives a psychological aspect as to how “women’s dispositions throughout life are shaped by inward-oriented habits tacitly embodied from an early age, such virtues are not entirely tacit but are the object of constant talk and disciplinary practices designed to refine one’s piety and good behavior (Hill 123). This sections touches up on the morality aspect and how a woman’s performance is constantly judged by society and overall criticized for it no matter if it was on a personal, social, and political aspect. The book explores the complexity of female religious leadership and its expression through modesty and efficiency, whether by eating, motherhood, and/or the usage of a female voice. Hill structures these religious acts by semiotic ‘wrapping’ (as opposed to ‘veiling’), since it offers a more comprehensive theoretical context for his idea.

Wrapping Authority essay

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Wrapping Authority. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/wrapping-authority/

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