ISBN 9789956551996
Pages 246
Dimensions 216 x 140mm
Published 2020
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Christianity and Social Change in Contemporary Africa: Volume One

edited by Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Joel A. Carpenter

This volume brings together seven empirically grounded contributions by African social scientists of different disciplinary backgrounds. The authors explore the social impact of religious innovation and competition in present day Africa. They represent a selection from an interdisciplinary initiative that made 23 research grants for theologians and social scientists to study Christianity and social change in contemporary Africa. These contributions focus on a variety of dynamics in contemporary African religion (mostly Christianity), including gender, health and healing, social media, entrepreneurship, and inter-religious borrowing and accommodation.

The volume seeks to enhance understanding of religion’s vital presence and power in contemporary Africa. It reveals problems as well as possibilities, notably some ethical concerns and psychological maladies that arise in some of these new movements, notably neo-Pentecostal and militant fundamentalist groups. Yet the contributions do not fixate on African problems and victimization. Instead, they explore sources of African creativity, resiliency and agency. The book calls on scholars of religion and religiosity in Africa to invest new conceptual and methodological energy in understanding what it means to be actively religious in Africa today.

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Review

“This book reveals inherent contradictions characteristic of new religious imaginaries, but also the hallmarks of agency, creativity, innovation, and resilience that these religious mobilities engender in the face of social change. The editors and authors tilt our critical, scholarly gaze toward unpacking emerging discourses on religious innovation and competition in Africa, and illuminate the urgency and backbreaking task of demystifying and problematizing the ambivalent import of these dynamics within contemporary African socio-religious landscapes.”

Afe Adogame, Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Religion and Society, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, USA

About the Editors

Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Francis B. Nyamnjoh joined the University of Cape Town in August 2009 as Professor of Social Anthropology from the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal, where he served as Head of Publications from July 2003 to July 2009. He has taught sociology, anthropology and communication studies at universities in Cameroon and Botswana, and has researched and written extensively on Cameroon and Botswana. In October 2012 he received a University of Cape Town Excellence Award for “Exceptional Contribution as a Professor in the Faculty of Humanities”. He is recipient of the “ASU African Hero 2013” annual award by the African Students Union, Ohio University, USA. He is: a B1 rated Professor and Researcher by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF); a Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Science since August 2011; a fellow of the African Academy of Science since December 2014; a fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa since 2016; and Chair of the Editorial Board of the South African Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Press since January 2011. His scholarly books include: Africa’s Media, Democracy and the Politics of Belonging (2005); Insiders and Outsiders: Citizenship and Xenophobia in Contemporary Southern Africa (2006); “C'est l'homme qui fait l'homme”: Cul-de-Sac Ubuntu-ism in Côte d'Ivoire (2015); and #RhodesMustFall: Nibbling at Resilient Colonialism in South Africa (2016).

Joel A. Carpenter

Joel A. Carpenter is a Senior Research Fellow at the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, Calvin University, Grand Rapids, USA.

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