Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fall Class: Religions & Politics in Africa

While I am writing my thesis this fall I may audit a class on religion in Africa.  PO 760: Problems and Issues of Contemporary Africa this fall will focus on "Religion and Politics in Africa. The politics of indigenous African religions, Islam, and Christianity. Topics include Islamist and Christian fundamentalist movements, religion and social conflict, and religious engagement on democracy, women's rights, and gay rights."

The differences in religion and the conflict they often create is something that has intrigued me while I was living in Senegal and traveling in Africa.  Senegalese political leaders courted the Mourides in Touba, but in a country where over 90% of the population is Muslim the first president was Catholic.  In March I will move to Chad where over half of the population is Muslim but there is also geographical separation where the majority of the Christians live in the South.  Chad also shares a border with Nigeria where a bloody religious war continues.  The book list seems to touch on many of the relevant issues and should be a good reading list to learn more about the subject.

There are 10 required books for the class:
- Guns & Rain by David Lan
- African Religions and Philosophies by John Mbiti
- African Christianity: Its Public Role by Paul Gifford
- Sudan: Race, Religion, and Violence by Jok Madut Jok
- Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa by Otayek
- Political Spiritualities by Ruth Marshall
- Between Terror and Democracy by Lesueur
- Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda by Tim Longman
- Between Feminism and Islam by Salime
- How God Became African by Haar

Any other books I should read?


  1. Not sure how relevant it will end up being but I just started: A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa by Steve Kemper. Regardless, it is a fascinating read so far.

    1. Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.