Of Saints and Sharifian Kings in Morocco: Three Examples of the Politics of Reimagining History Through Reinventing King/Saint Relationship
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The relationship between sainthood and the sharifian monarchy in Morocco has attracted much attention from researchers within the area of Moroccan studies. The analysis of this relationship can offer invaluable insights into the dynamics of Moroccan history because the king and the saint are widely regarded as the two most salient actors in this history. Yet, the study of the relationship between these two figures has suffered a tendency towards downplaying its historically dynamic nature, and essentializing the cultural constructs upon which it is predicated. In this thesis, I offer a revisionary reading of king/saint relationship through analyzing three examples from the 'Alawite dynasty. I argue that this relationship has been highly dynamic, and has capitalized on baraka and sharifism as versatile cultural constructs. More significantly, the dynamics of king/saint relationship in Moroccan culture allows the strategic reinvention of history in order to meet the demands of changing historical contexts.