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Volume :15 Issue : 3 1987      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Ibn Khaldun’s contributions to Social Anthropology: An Anthropological Perspective to Muqaddimah

Auther : AL-Sayed A. Hamed

This paper first explores Ibn Khaldun’s Studies on social institutions especially religion, and then illustrates the part he played in enriching social anthropology. The generalizations and ideas advanced by Ibn Khadun in the Muqaddimah are manifested in his numerous studies of the Middle East, particularly North Africa.

The work, which Ibn Khaldun carried out in the field of anthropology, is very important. His generalizations and the theoretical framework, i.e. the asabah (segmentary lineage) theory that he adopted in his Muqaddimah, were quoted by William Robertson smith (1846 – 1894) and many other British anthropologists.

Smith was also influenced by Ibn Khaldun’s perspective to the study of religion. Ibn Khaldun studied religion as a social institution with functional interdependence with other social institutions, especially the political one.

The best example of the direct contribution of Ibn Khaldun to religious anthropology is clear in Evan’s-Pritchard’s approach anthropology and the kinship studies.

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