1st Edition

The Public Face of African New Religious Movements in Diaspora Imagining the Religious ‘Other’

Edited By Afe Adogame Copyright 2014
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    The growing pace of international migration, technological revolution in media and travel generate circumstances that provide opportunities for the mobility of African new religious movements (ANRMs) within Africa and beyond. ANRMs are furthering their self-assertion and self-insertion into the religious landscapes of Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Their growing presence and public visibility seem to be more robustly captured by the popular media than by scholars of NRMs, historians of religion and social scientists, a tendency that has probably shaped the public mental picture and understanding of the phenomena. This book provides new theoretical and methodological insights for understanding and interpreting ANRMs and African-derived religions in diaspora. Contributors focus on individual groups and movements drawn from Christian, Islamic, Jewish and African-derived religious movements and explore their provenance and patterns of emergence; their belief systems and ritual practices; their public/civic roles; group self-definition; public perceptions and responses; tendencies towards integration/segregation; organisational networks; gender orientations and the implications of interactions within and between the groups and with the host societies. The book includes contributions from scholars and religious practitioners, thus offering new insights into how ANRMs can be better defined, approached, and interpreted by scholars, policy makers, and media practitioners alike.

    Introduction The Public Face of African New Religious Movements in Diaspora

    Afe Adogame

    1 The Discourse about ‘Africa’ in Religious Communities in Brazil: How Africa Becomes the Ultimate Source of Authenticity in Afro-Brazilian Religions

    Bettina E. Schmidt

    2 Irrecha: A Traditional Oromo Religious Ritual Goes Global

    Asebe Regassa and Meron Zeleke

    3 Self-Representation by Black Majority Christianity in Britain

    Abel Ugba

    4 The Transnational Dynamics of Black Jews in France

    Aurélien Mokoko Gampiot and Cécile Coquet-Mokoko

    5 ‘Take Over Asia for God!’: The Public Face of African Pentecostal Churches in China

    Heidi Østbø Haugen

    6 Uncovering an Alternative Story: Examining the Religious and Social Lives of Afro-Caribbean Youth in London and New York City

    Janice McLean-Farrell

    7 Juggling Multiple Identities to Overcome Minority Status: Young Congolese Pentecostals in Montreal (Quebec)

    Géraldine Mossière

    8 ‘Living by the Spirit’: African Christian Communities in Sweden

    Anne Kubai

    9 ‘Penetrating the Unseen’: The Role of Religion and Spiritual Practices in the Senegalese Boat Migration Process

    Henrietta M. Nyamnjoh

    10 ‘The Coca-Cola of Churches Arrives’: Nigeria’s Redeemed Christian Church of God in Brazil

    Laura Premack

    11 Nigerian Pentecostals in Britain: Towards Prosperity or Consumerism?

    Israel Olofinjana

    12 Public Perception of Witchcraft Accusations, Stereotyping and Child Abuse: A Case Study of Britain’s Black Majority Churches

    Babatunde Adedibu

    13 The Strangers in our Midst: Issues of Misunderstanding between African Migrant Churches in Germany and the Mainstream German Churches

    Garnet Parris


    Afe Adogame is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include African New Religious movements, Indigenous Religions, and Religions of the African Diaspora. He is the General Secretary of the African Association for the Study of Religion (AASR); and Secretary/Treasurer of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 22 on Sociology of Religion (ISA/RC22). His most recent publications include: The African Christian Diaspora: New Currents and Emerging Trends in World Christianity; (eds) Religions on the Move: Dynamics of Religious Expansion in a Globalizing World; (eds) African Traditions in the Study of Religion, Diaspora and Gendered Societies; (eds) African Traditions in the Study of Religion in Africa; (ed.) Who is Afraid of the Holy Ghost? Pentecostalism and Globalization in Africa and Beyond; (eds) Religion Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Religious and Social Dynamics in Africa and the New African Diaspora.

    ’This is a fresh and highly informative volume which highlights the diversity and complexity of African New Religious Movements outside the African continent. The authors provide penetrating and provocative insights into African New Religious Movements, confounding earlier interpretations of African religions as exclusively "African" phenomena. I recommend this volume very strongly to scholars and students of religion, Africanists, anthropologists and general readers.’ Ezra Chitando, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe ’This volume provides a valuable set of studies of diasporic African new religious movements (whether Christian, Islamic, Jewish or African-derived) from Europe and North America to Brazil and China. But perhaps its principal contribution is the focus on the public representation and recognition of these burgeoning movements, a perception that is largely negative. The contributors - both scholars and religious practitioners - provide important insights on the interactions between these religious communities and their host societies.’ Rosalind I.J. Hackett, University of Tennessee, USA '... Afe Adogame has provided an intriguing and variegated look at the interaction of African New Religious Movements (ANRMs) with host cultures abroad, underscoring both the positive contributions and tensions that such interaction creates. As a work more anthropological than theological, the collection makes a scholarly and timely contribution to its field.' African Studies Quarterly