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Religion, spirituality and the social sciencesChallenging marginalisation$
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Basia Spalek and Alia Imtoual

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420411

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420411.001.0001

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date: 17 December 2017

Studying religion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Studying religion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Chapter:
(p.79) Six Studying religion in Sub-Saharan Africa
Source:
Religion, spirituality and the social sciences
Author(s):

Maria Frahm-Arp

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847420411.003.0007

In Sub-Saharan Africa, changes in the high rate of HIV/AIDS infection, economic instability, unemployment, and religion were spurred by the rise of African independent churches to the current popularity of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity and Catholicism. To be able to understand these, it is necessary to consider the religious world-view and the place of religion within the socio-political shifts in this area. This chapter, hence, uses religion as a social variable in order to gauge and understand why people act collectively. It examines some of the salient issues featured in the early sociological study of religion and shows how these have influenced the way that religion has been studied in Africa. It also examines the way in which contemporary Christianity and African religions have been studied and proposes ways to include religious variables in the broader study of societies in postcolonial Africa.

Keywords:   Sub-Saharan Africa, religious world-view, independent churches, religion, Africa, contemporary Christianity, African religions

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