The saint and the caliph

The saint and the caliph

Author: 
Fromherz, Allen James
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2021
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of North African Studies
Source: 
Journal of North African Studies,Vol. 26, No. 4, 2021, pp. 631-641
ISSN: 
0305-7070
Abstract: 

This article focuses on two claims to religious authority: Mu ammad al-Mustan ir's proclamation as caliph and the canonisation of King Louis IX (r. 1226-1270). Christian royal sainthood and the Islamic Caliphate were very different institutions with different rules. Despite this obvious contrast, the caliphate of al-Mustan ir (r. 1249-1277) and the saintliness of Louis IX both resulted from larger, interconnected trends in the economic and religious history of the Mediterranean world. The rise of commerce between North Africa and Europe and the influx of African gold helped al-Mustan ir to grow his capital and to consolidate his power even as it also attracted the attention of France to Tunis. While they benefited economically from one another, Louis IX and al-Mustan ir also gained from a new religiosity developing in Europe and North Africa: the rise of Franciscans in France and of Sufi leaders in North Africa. The canonisation of Louis IX could not have occurred without his complex relationship with the Franciscans. Al-Mustan ir may not have been proclaimed caliph without the support of the Sufis and new, esoteric thinkers such as Ibn Sab'in. The Crusade of 1270 helped al-Mustan ir secure power and established the authority of the Hafsids for centuries to come. Similarly, the death of Louis in Carthage allowed saintly blood to flow through the veins of future Capetian kings. Both used the presence of the other to establish claims to power, legitimacy and faith.

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CITATION: Fromherz, Allen James. The saint and the caliph . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2021. Journal of North African Studies,Vol. 26, No. 4, 2021, pp. 631-641 - Available at: http://library.au.int/saint-and-caliph