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Marian Aguiar

Considered a hero of anticolonial resistance by many contemporary Algerians, Abd al-Qadir created an Arab-Berber alliance to oppose French expansion in North Africa in the 1830s and 1840s. He also organized an Islamic state that, at one point, controlled the western two-thirds of the inhabited land in Algeria. Abd al-Qadir owed his ability to unite Arabs and Berbers, who had been enemies for centuries, in part to the legacy of his father, head of the Hashim tribe in Mousakar (Mascara) and leader of a Sufi Muslim brotherhood. In 1826Abd al-Qadir and his father made a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam. When he returned in 1828, Abd al-Qadir s own reputation as an Islamic religious and cultural leader grew and both Arabs and Berbers looked to him to lead the resistance against the French who ...

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Alonford James Robinson

Paul Bogle is a beloved figure in Jamaica. Although his legal status at the time of his birth is unclear, most scholars believe that he was born free in Stony Gut, Jamaica, in 1822. He operated a small independent farm there and became a lay preacher in the Native Baptist Church. His affiliation with this antislavery branch of the Baptist Church brought him into contact with British and Jamaican abolitionists, including activist George Gordon. Methodist and Baptist leaders, as well as leaders of other religious denominations, were active participants in the antislavery struggle. As a result, members of local black congregations like Bogle's were often exposed to antislavery debates, pamphlets, and sermons.

When slavery was abolished in 1834 blacks in Jamaica were promised freedom at the end of what turned out to be a four year period known as apprenticeship The apprenticeship policy forced slaves ...

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Graham Russell Hodges

Born to petit bourgeois parents in Vého, Lorraine, in rural France, Henri-Baptiste Grégoire was educated at a Jesuit college. He then became a teacher and was consequently ordained as a priest in Lorraine at the age of twenty-five. Frustrated by hierarchical barriers to advancement, he turned to writing.

Grégoire's first essays, published in the late 1770s, advocated tolerance of Jews, a position that placed Grégoire in opposition to the wave of anti-Semitism in France. In 1785 he won awards for a book reflecting his passion for Jewish rights Grégoire contended that temporal salvation by which he meant absorption into the Roman Catholic Church was individual rather than racial or national He defined his duty as working for the creation of conditions under which Jews could convert to Catholicism and be eligible for salvation To avoid social corruption he believed Jews were to be encouraged to migrate to the countryside ...

Article

Kahina  

Marian Aguiar

In the seventh century, the Arabs arrived in the land they called Ifriqiya, in present-day Tunisia, bringing Islam and seeking gold. The Jarawa Berbers in the Aurès Mountains became the main force halting their progress through North Africa. This group was known for their military prowess, and although they offered nominal allegiance to the Byzantine Empire, they in fact ruled their own land. Their chief was the Kahina, a woman who, some said, was more than a hundred years old and had two sons of two fathers, one Greek and one Berber She might have been a Christian or a Jew and some historians have attributed her resistance to religious fervor Or she might have simply been a strong ruler who would rather burn down her own kingdom than let it fall into the hands of an outside force There is little historical documentation of the Kahina s ...

Article

Ryan Ronnenberg

Tanzanian spirit medium, mganga (traditional doctor), political and military leader, and revolutionary, was likely born in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He was a central figure in the 1905 Maji Maji uprising against German colonial forces in southeastern Tanganyika. Most famously, Kinyikitile was responsible for the introduction of maji, or “water,” war medicine, which rendered the blessed impervious to bullets. The Maji Maji conflict itself, owing in no small part to its inclusion of different ethnic and linguistic groups at a very early date, has been the subject of intense interest by nationalist historians, and an appreciation of Kinjikitile’s significance to Tanzania must discern the extent to which he fits the role of proto-nationalist hero.

Kinjikitile may have found fertile ground for his teachings among turn of the century southern Tanganyikan peoples who generally concurred with his assertions of a kind of spiritual hierarchy including a creator ...

Article

José María Morelos y Pavón was born in Valladolid, New Spain—what is now the city of Morelia in the Mexican state of Michoacán (the city was named in his honor). Educated there, Morelos worked as a scribe and accountant from 1770 to 1790, when he began studies for the priesthood. The Catholic Church had long forbidden blacks, mulattos, and zambos (Afro-Indians) from becoming priests. Morelos's baptismal record, however, had been tampered with—he was originally designated a mulatto, but the record later indicated he was white—and throughout his life the leader maintained that he was of Spanish (white) descent. In all likelihood his parents paid the local priest to make the change in his baptismal record so he would receive more favorable treatment in New Spain's rigid caste system.

Morelos's studies took him to the College of San Nicolás, where he met Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753–1811 future ...

Article

the Sudanese Mahdi, led a religious revolution in the 1880s that destroyed the Turco-Egyptian colonial regime and established a theocratic state. He was born on 12 August 1844 into a sharifian family on the Nile island of Labab in Dongola. His father, a boat builder, later moved the family to Karari, north of Khartoum. His early education was traditional, under religious shaykhs near Berber and in the Gezira.

From 1861 until about 1878, Muhammad Ahmad was a follower of Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da’im of the Sammaniyya order of Sufis, whom he gradually overshadowed. In about 1870 he went to live at Aba island in the White Nile where his reputation for piety and asceticism extended beyond the local tribes and was confirmed when he broke with his master Abjuring festivities arranged to celebrate the circumcision of the shaykh s sons he was expelled and his apologies rebuffed ...