Religions in Contemporary Africa is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the three main religious traditions on the African continent, African indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam. The book provides a historical overview of these important traditions and focuses on the roles they play in African societies today. It includes social, cultural and political case studies from across the continent on the following topical issues:
- Witchcraft and modernity
- Power and politics
- Conflict and peace
- Media and popular culture
- Human rights
- Illness and health
- Gender and sexuality
With suggestions for further reading, discussion questions, illustrations and a list of glossary terms this is the ideal textbook for students in religion, African studies and adjacent fields approaching this subject area for the first time.
Table of Contents
List of Images
List of abbreviations
Introduction: Why and How This Book Helps You Understand Religions in Africa
Part I: Major Religions in Africa
- African Indigenous Religions
- Christianity in Africa
- Islam in Africa
- Neo-traditional Religious Movements in Africa
- Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements in Africa
- Islamic Reform Movements in Africa
- Religion, Witchcraft and Modernity in Africa
- Religion, Power and Politics in Africa
- Religion, Conflict and Peace in Africa
- Religion and Development in Africa
- Religion and Human Rights in Africa
- Religion, Illness and Health in Africa
- Religion and Gender in Africa
- Religion and Sexuality in Africa
- Religion, Media and Popular Culture in Africa
Part II: Topical Issues of Religions in Africa
Laura S. Grillo earned her PhD in History of Religions from The University of Chicago and is Affiliated Faculty at Georgetown University (USA). Her book, An Intimate Rebuke (2018), was supported by a Research Fellowship at Harvard Divinity School.
Hassan J. Ndzovu is Senior Lecturer of Religious Studies at Moi University (Kenya), with a PhD from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (South Africa). He has also held two postdoctoral positions, at Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and Northwestern University (USA).
Adriaan van Klinken is Associate Professor of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds (United Kingdom). He holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and was a postdoctoral fellow at SOAS University of London.
"All three authors are schooled in religious studies and African studies, of which the interdisciplinary features are clearly visible throughout the book. Taking these interests and focuses together, the book offers a splendid teaching tool for undergraduate courses on religion, Africa, and/or African religions."
- Mariske Westendorp, Reading Religion
"The well-conceived combination of tradition-specific and thematic chapters help the reader understand Africa’s religious diversity and dynamics in contemporary context and will be just the ticket for my African Religions class."
– Rosalind I. J. Hackett, University of Tennessee, USA
"This is a refreshing, creative and informative approach to the religions of Africa in their plurality. The authors have adopted a sound and scholarly engagement with the religions of Africa. The inclusion of case studies, reflective questions for discussions and use of accessible language adds value to the volume. I recommend this volume highly to scholars in the fields of religion, anthropology, sociology, political science, sexuality studies and general readers."
– Ezra Chitando, Professor of History of Religions, University of Zimbabwe and Theology Consultant on HIV, World Council of Churches
"By placing African religions at the center rather the margins of religious studies, this textbook gives the discipline’s practitioners the chance to reflect on the absence of African voices and experiences in its classrooms and to imagine a future for the field beyond its imperial and racist roots."
- Edward E. Curtis IV, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis, USA, Journal of the American Academy of Religion