Religion and Politics in Africa Stream at ASAUK24
Posted on 28th September, 2023 in Streams for ASAUK24 Conference
Religion and Politics in Africa
This stream explores the interplay of religion and politics within African countries. Global surveys of citizens’ religiosity frequently place African countries as among the most religious in the world. Religious actors and institutions continue to shape political processes and outcomes across the continent. Indeed, as Jennifer Cooke and Richard Downie (2015) have argued: “in much of Africa, it is impossible to understand the process of modern state formation without taking religious dynamics and institutions into account.”
The proposed stream welcomes papers that embrace wide definitions of religion (e.g., beliefs and values, practices, movements, political theologies, institutions) and politics (e.g., public sphere, political parties, laws and policies, elections, governance). It will explore the relationship between religion and politics in Africa through a range of interdisciplinary lenses: colonial and pre-colonial histories, inter-generational demographic change, transcontinental and international movements, legal studies, and contemporary sociology and gender studies.
In particular, the proposed stream suggests the following areas of interest:
• The role of religion in national liberation movements
• Pluralism, secularism, and the law in Africa
• Religion, values, and legislation: abortion and homosexuality
• Islam, social movements, and states’ responses
• Traditional religious beliefs and practices: representation and authority
This stream will contribute to ASAUK 2024 by exploring an important yet often overlooked aspect of society in African countries. Questions of religion are inevitably intertwined with questions about values, liberalism, national identity, tolerance, constitutionalism, and social cohesion. Moreover, rapid trends in religiosity and religious movements – such as the rapid growth of Christianity in the 20th century, or the recent rise of Pentecostalism – dovetail well with the conference’s theme of Generation and Regeneration.
Please be in touch with David Jeffery email@example.com to discuss your ideas.