Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa
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Issues of same-sex relationships and gay and lesbian rights 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. This is the first book with multidisciplinary perspectives on religion and homosexuality in Africa. It presents case studies from across the continent, from Egypt to Zimbabwe and from Senegal to Kenya, and covers religious traditions such as Islam, Christianity and Rastafarianism. The contributors explore the role of religion in the politicisation of homosexuality, investigate local and global mobilisations of power, critically examine dominant religious discourses, and highlight the emergence of counter-discourses. Hence they reveal the crucial yet ambivalent public role of religion in matters of sexuality, social justice and human rights in contemporary Africa.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Public Religion, Homophobia and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa Adriaan van Klinken and Ezra Chitando I The Politicisation of Homosexuality 1. ‘For God and For My Country’: Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches and the Framing of a New Political Discourse in Uganda Barbara Bompani 2. Uniting a Divided Nation? Nigerian Muslim and Christian Responses to the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act Danoye Oguntola-Laguda and Adriaan van Klinken 3. Discourses on Homosexuality in Egypt: When Religion and the State Cooperate Serena Tolino 4. ‘We Will Chop Their heads Off’: Homosexuality versus Religio-political Grandstanding in Zimbabwe Molly Manyonganise 5. ‘Un-natural, ‘un-African’ and ‘un-Islamic’: The Three Pronged Onslaught Undermining Homosexual Freedom in Kenya Hassan J. Ndzovu 6. Côte d’Ivoire and the New Homophobia: The Autochthonous Ethic and the Spirit of Neo-Liberalism Joseph Hellweg II Global and Local Mobilisations 7. An African or Un-African Sexual Identity? Religion, Globalisation and Sexual Politics in sub-Saharan Africa Kapya Kaoma 8. The Extraversion of Homophobia: Global Politics and Sexuality in Uganda Jia Hui Lee 9. Religious Inspiration: Indigenous Mobilisation against LGBTI Rights in Post-conflict Liberia Ashley Currier and Joëlle M. Cruz 10. Islamic Movements against Homosexuality in Senegal: The Fight against AIDS as Catalyst Christophe Broqua 11. One Love or Chanting Down Same-Sex Relations? Queering Zimbabwean Rastafari Perspectives on Homosexuality Fortune Sibanda 12. Narratives of ‘Saints’ and ‘Sinners’ in Uganda: Contemporary (Re)presentations of the 1886 Story of ‘Queer’ Mwanga and Ganda ‘Martyrs’ Prince Karakire Guma III Contestation, Subversion and Resistance 13. Critique and Alternative Imaginations: Homosexuality and Religion in Contemporary Zimbabwean Literature Pauline Mateveke 14. Christianity, Human R
Adriaan van Klinken is Associate Professor of Religion and African Studies in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science at the University of Leeds (UK). His research focuses on issues of gender, sexuality and public life in contemporary Christianity in Africa. In addition to various articles in academic journals, in 2013 he published the book Transforming Masculinities in African Christianity: Gender Controversies in Times of AIDS (Ashgate).
Ezra Chitando is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy 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