Issues of homosexuality are the subject of public and political controversy in many African societies today. Frequently, these controversies receive widespread attention both locally and globally, such as with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. In the international media, these cases tend to be presented as revealing a deeply-rooted homophobia in Africa fuelled by religious and cultural traditions. But so far little energy is expended in understanding these controversies in all their complexity and the critical role religion plays in them. Complementing the companion volume, Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa, this book investigates Christian politics and discourses on homosexuality in sub-Saharan Africa. The contributors present case studies from various African countries, from Nigeria to South Africa and from Cameroon to Uganda, focusing on Pentecostal, Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. They critically examine popular Christian theologies that perpetuate homophobia and discrimination, but they also discuss contestations of such discourses and emerging alternative Christian perspectives that contribute to the recognition of sexual diversity, social justice and human rights in contemporary Africa.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Christianity and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa Adriaan van Klinken and Ezra Chitando Part I: Pentecostalism as a Public Religion 1. Sexual Bodies, Sacred Vessels: Pentecostal Discourses on Homosexuality in Nigeria Asonzeh Ukah 2. Scandal Makers: Competition in the Religious Market among Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches in Uganda Caroline Valois 3. The Homophobic Trinity: Pentecostal End-time, Prosperity and Healing Gospels as Contributors to Homophobia in Cameroon Frida Lyonga 4. A Kenyan Queer Prophet: Binyavanga Wainaina’s Public Contestation of Pentecostalism and Homophobia Adriaan van Klinken Part II: Broader Christian Case Studies and Perspectives 5. Christianity, Homosexuality and Public Politics in Zambia Derrick M. Muwina 6. The Anti-homosexual Narrative in the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe: Political Diatribe or Religious Conservatism? Lovemore Ndlovu 7. Queer Fragility and Christian Social Ethics: A Political Interpolation of the Catholic Church in Cameroon S.N. Nyeck 8. Is "Being Right" More Important than "Being Together"? Intercultural Bible Reading and Life-giving Dialogue on Homosexuality in the Dutch Reformed Church, South Africa Charlene van der Walt Part III: Christian Subversions and Transformations 9. Enduring and Subverting Homophobia: Religious Experiences of Same-sex Loving People in Zimbabwe Nelson Muparamoto 10. ‘Born this Way’: The Imago Dei in Men Who Love Other Men in Lusaka, Zambia Lilly Phiri 11. Unlikely Allies? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Activists and Church Leaders in Africa Ezra Chitando and Tapiwa P. Mapuranga 12. Reconfiguring a Biblical Story (Genesis 19) in the Context of South African Discussions about Homosexuality Gerald O. West Appendix I: Elmina Consultation Statement (2015)
Ezra Chitando is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Zimbabwe. He also serves as theological consultant for the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA) of the World Council of Churches. He has widely published on religion in Africa, in recent years mostly focusing on issues of religion and HIV/AIDS and religion masculinities.
Adriaan van Klinken is Associate Professor of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on issues of gender, sexuality and public life in contemporary Christianity in Africa. In addition to a range of articles in academic journals, in 2013 he published the book Transforming Masculinities in African Christianity: Gender Controversies in Times of AIDS.