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On the Bodies of Women: the common ground between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria

On the Bodies of Women: the common ground between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria Abstract This article explores the common ideological ground between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria, in the ways in which gender and sexuality are configured in relation to women's bodies. The latter constitute key sites for the inscription of social norms and practices inherent in particular interpretations of religion. We proceed by examining the interplay between religion and politics in historical context and in specific concrete instances. While the religious right among Muslims and Christians share the view that women's bodies are sexually corrupting and therefore in need of control, this perspective is also found in secular institutions. At the same time Christians and Muslims are strongly opposed to controls on women's bodies that may lead to either religious group being identified as ‘the other’. The linkage made between women's bodies and ‘public morality’ produces diverse forms of gender inequality. The moralising of political economy that these processes entail complicates the terrain on which challenges to the politicisation of religion and its gender politics need to be sustained. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Third World Quarterly Taylor & Francis

On the Bodies of Women: the common ground between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria

Third World Quarterly , Volume 31 (6): 17 – Sep 1, 2010
17 pages

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References (32)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1360-2241
eISSN
0143-6597
DOI
10.1080/01436597.2010.502725
pmid
20857569
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This article explores the common ideological ground between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria, in the ways in which gender and sexuality are configured in relation to women's bodies. The latter constitute key sites for the inscription of social norms and practices inherent in particular interpretations of religion. We proceed by examining the interplay between religion and politics in historical context and in specific concrete instances. While the religious right among Muslims and Christians share the view that women's bodies are sexually corrupting and therefore in need of control, this perspective is also found in secular institutions. At the same time Christians and Muslims are strongly opposed to controls on women's bodies that may lead to either religious group being identified as ‘the other’. The linkage made between women's bodies and ‘public morality’ produces diverse forms of gender inequality. The moralising of political economy that these processes entail complicates the terrain on which challenges to the politicisation of religion and its gender politics need to be sustained.

Journal

Third World QuarterlyTaylor & Francis

Published: Sep 1, 2010

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