Il curioso caso del Mahdi redivivo. Ricorrenza del Mahdismo dal colonialismo all’Isis
The Mahdi is the eschatological figure of Islam who will rule over the world at the end of time after having rid humanity of evil. During the whole Islamic history, many rulers have claimed to be the long-awaited Mahdi, thus creating the conditions for political revolutions based on prophetic statements. The present paper will study this subject as it occurs in contemporary history, first outlining such messianic character in the light of Muhammad’s revelation, then finding the different meanings of Mahdist claims (the man-oriented and the message-oriented inclinations, the Mahdi as a renewal and the Mahdi as an apocalyptic personality), finally studying different self-proclaimed Mahdis in recent history, in Africa as well as in the Middle East. The last paragraph will be dedicated to the messianic dispositions of the terroristic organization Islamic State which has deeply affected the political-revolutionary strategy adopted by the group.