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The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to African Religions

ISBN: 978-1-118-25554-4
616 pages
March 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to African Religions (1118255542) cover image
The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to African Religions brings together a team of international scholars to create a single-volume resource on the religious beliefs and practices of the peoples in Africa.
  • Offers broad coverage of issues relating to African religions, considering experiences in indigenous, Christian, and Islamic traditions across the continent
  • Contributors are from a variety of fields, ensuring the volume offers multidisciplinary perspectives
  • Explores methodological approaches to religion from anthropological, philosophical, and historical perspectives
  • Provides insights into the historical developments in African religions, as well as contemporary issues such as the development of African-initiated churches, neo traditional religions, and Pentecostalism
  • Discusses important topics at the intersection of culture and religion in Africa, including the arts, health, politics, globalization, gender relations, and the economy
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Notes on Contributors xi

Foreword xix
Jacob K. Olupona

Acknowledgments xxii

Introduction 1
Elias K. Bongmba

Part I Methodological Perspectives on African Religions 23

1 Methodological Views on African Religions 25
James L. Cox

2 Philosophy of Religion on African Ways of Believing 41
V.Y. Mudimbe and Susan Mbula Kilonzo

3 Neo-Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism: Perspectives from the Social Sciences 62
Jean Comaroff and John L. Comaroff

4 Divination in Africa 79
René Devisch

5 Orality, Literature, and African Religions 97
Jonathan A. Draper and Kenneth Mtata

6 African Rituals 112
Laura S. Grillo

7 Postcolonial Feminist Perspectives on African Religions 127
Musa W. Dube

8 Religion and the Environment 140
Edward P. Antonio

9 Christianity in Africa: From African Independent to Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches 153
Birgit Meyer

Part II Interpreting Religious Pluralism 171

10 Neo-traditional Religions 173
Marleen de Witte

11 Spirit Possession in Africa 184
Susan J. Rasmussen

12 Christian Missions in Africa 198
Norman Etherington

13 Christianity in Africa 208
David T. Ngong

14 Coptic Christianity 220
Jason R. Zaborowski

15 The Ethiopian Orthodox Church 234
Christine Chaillot

16 African Theology 241
Elias K. Bongmba

17 The Church and Women in Africa 255
Isabel Apawo Phiri

18 Feminist Theologies in Africa 269
Sarojini Nadar

19 Church and Reconciliation 279
Tinyiko Maluleke

20 Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements in Modern Africa 295
Matthews A. Ojo

21 African Initiated Churches in the Diaspora 310
Afe Adogame

22 Islam in Africa 323
Yushau Sodiq

23 Women in Islam: Between Sufi sm and Reform in Senegal 338
Penda Mbow

24 Islam and Modernity 355
Carmen McCain

25 Jihad 365
John H. Hanson

26 Shari’a in Muslim Africa 377
David Cook

27 Hinduism in South Africa 389
P. Pratap Kumar

Part III Religion, Culture, and Society 399

28 Religion and Art in Ile-Ife 401
Suzanne Preston Blier

29 Sufi Arts: Engaging Islam through Works of Contemporary Art in Senegal 417
Allen F. Roberts and Mary Nooter Roberts

30 Religion, Health, and the Economy 430
James R. Cochrane

31 Religion, Illness, and Healing 443
David Westerlund

32 Religion and Politics in Africa 457
Stephen Ellis and Gerrie ter Haar

33 Religion and Development 466
Steve de Gruchy

34 Religion, Media, and Confl ict in Africa 483
Rosalind I.J. Hackett

35 Gospel Music in Africa 489
Damaris Seleina Parsitau

36 Religion and Globalization 503
Asonzeh Ukah

37 Religion and Same Sex Relations in Africa 515
Marc Epprecht

Bibliography 529

Index 590

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Elias Kifon Bongmba holds the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian Theology and is Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. He is the author of Facing a Pandemic: The African Church and Crisis of AIDS (2007), The Dialectics of Transformation in Africa (2006), which won the 2007 Franz Fanon Prize for outstanding work in Caribbean thought, and African Witchcraft and Otherness: A Philosophical and Theological Critique of Intersubjective Relations (2001).
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“Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.”  (Choice, 1 June 2013)

This timely contribution to the study of African religions will become an indispensable tool and resource for anyone interested in the subject whether in the academy or beyond. The themes and issues are central to the current debate on the status, role and future of religion on the continent and the contributors are all distinguished scholars in the field and experts on their assigned topics.
John W. de Gruchy, Emeritus Professor of Christian Studies, University of Cape Town

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