Benjamin Soares, an anthropologist, is a Senior Researcher and Chair of the research staff at the Afrika-Studiecentrum in Leiden, The Netherlands. He has taught at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Sussex and held fellowships at the University of Chicago and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His research interests include religion and politics, Islam, and religious encounters especially in West Africa. In addition to ongoing research on religion, the public sphere, and media, he is studying contemporary Muslim public intellectuals in Africa. He is the author of Islam and the Prayer Economy: History and Authority in a Malian Town (University of Michigan Press & Edinburgh University Press, 2005). He is also editor of Muslim-Christian Encounters in Africa (Brill, 2006); co-editor with Filippo Osella of Islam, Politics, Anthropology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010); co-editor with René Otayek of Islam, État et société en Afrique (Karthala, 2009) and Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa (Palgrave, 2007), which has recently appeared in Arabic translation, as well as editor of forthcoming volumes on Muslim youth in the post-9/11 era and religion and new media in Africa.