Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Badru, Pade

Author's Keywords

Philosophy; Religion and theology; Social sciences


Islam--Nigeria; Religion and sociology--Nigeria


This study is a historical analysis of reasons and dynamics behind the emergence of fundamentalist religious movements. Its purpose is to develop a new conceptual apparatus to the approach toward religious fundamentalist movements that would analyze both external and internal factors influencing their emergence. It is a case study of an Islamic fundamentalist religious movement called Maitatsine in Nigeria. The theoretical background is based upon the concepts of international division of labor and the role of the state taken from development theories, which explain the external factors influencing the dynamics in West Africa, the region where the analyzed religious movement emerged. Analysis of the factors at the micro level is provided with the social movements theories' concepts of mobilization and framing, which explain the organization of religious movements. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer's concept of the culture industry, and Antonio Gramsci's concepts of hegemony and counter hegemony are used to analyze the ideological background of the fundamentalist religious movements. Historical context, with the history of Islam, colonialism, and post-independence period in Nigeria are presented in order to provide a background for the study of the Maitatsine movement. Findings indicate that the world dynamics significantly influence economic and political realities of peripheries with weak states. They provoke the increase of the "disinherited" social groups in the capitalist secular system, which include mainly immigrants, foreigners. Consequently, this inflames rising feelings of grievance toward the dominant western culture that is directed by charismatic religious leaders. Religious ideology becomes a strong mobilizing and framing factor that creates counter hegemony and starts controlling members adhering to the fundamentalist religious movement.