Religion, Law, Politics and the State in Africa
Applying Legal Pluralism in Ghana
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 religiosity. 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 connections 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
Seth Tweneboah (PhD) is a lecturer at the Centre for Conflict, Human Rights and Peace Studies of the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. He received his PhD in Religious Studies (with specialization in law and politics) from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Seth has an MPhil from the 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.