Religion, Law, Politics and the State in Africa: Applying Legal Pluralism in Ghana, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Religion, Law, Politics and the State in Africa

Applying Legal Pluralism in Ghana, 1st Edition

By Seth Tweneboah


232 pages

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Hardback: 9780367347918
pub: 2019-10-25
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Applying a legal pluralist framework, this study examines the complex interrelationships between religion, law, and politics in contemporary Ghana, a professedly secular state characterised by high levels of religiousity. It aims to explore legal, cultural and moral tensions created by overlapping loci of authority (state actors, traditional leaders and religious functionaries). It contends that religion can function as an impediment to Ghana’s secularity and also serve as an integral tool for realising the state’s legal ideals and meeting international human rights standards. Using three case studies – legal tensions, child witchcraft accusations, and same-sex partnerships – the study illustrates the ways that the entangled and complicated connexions between religion and law compound Ghana’s secular orientation. It suggests that legal pluralism is not a mere analytical framework for describing tensions, but ought to be seen as part of the solution. The study contributes to advancing knowledge in the area of the interrelationships between religion and law in contemporary African public domain.

This book will be a valuable resource for those working in the areas of Law and Religion, Religious Studies, African Studies, Political Science, Legal Anthropology and Socio-legal Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The Interactions of State and Non-State Legal Norms; 2. Normative Systems and Actors in Tension; 3. Child Witchcraft Occurrences and Maltreatments; 4. Religion, Law, and Same-Sex Relationships; 5. Conclusion;

About the Author

Seth Tweneboah (PhD) is a lecturer at the Religious Studies Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He received his PhD in Religious Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Seth has an MPhil from University of Ghana, Legon and an MA from the Florida International University, Miami. His research focuses on religious human rights and the religion-law interrelationships in Africa. He has published in a number of reputable journals including the Journal of Law, Religion and State.

About the Series

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

The ICLARS Series on Law and Religion is designed to provide a forum for the rapidly expanding field of research in law and religion. The series is published in association with the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, an international network of scholars and experts of law and religion founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a place where information, data and opinions can easily be exchanged among members and made available to the broader scientific community ( The series aims to become a primary source for students and scholars while presenting authors with a valuable means to reach a wide and growing readership.

The series editors are currently welcoming proposals for this new series on any matter falling under ‘law and religion’ widely defined. Collections arising from important conferences and events are welcome as well as monographs by both established names and new voices (including monographs based on doctoral dissertations). Also of interest are interdisciplinary works and studies of particular jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Alternative Dispute Resolution
LAW / Civil Rights
LAW / Comparative
LAW / Constitutional
LAW / Customary
LAW / Gender & the Law
LAW / Public
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Comparative
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies