Through the discussion of a religious sermon, this chapter introduces readers to the intersections of ethical self-fashioning, semiotics, and modernity and how these play out in the context of Lamu. Setting up the theoretical framework of the book, it provides insights into anthropological approaches to everyday Islam, questions of morality and modernity, and the linguistic anthropological angle from which this book approaches these issues. The introduction further situates Lamu within Kenyan and transnational politics by highlighting current events that shape outsiders’ perception of Lamu and by providing a short historical overview of the relation between Lamu and the Kenyan mainland.
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