2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
THEO1910 Religion in Modern Africa
10 creditsClass Size: 60
Module manager: Dr Ben Kirby
Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
This module is mutually exclusive with
|THEO1180||Varieties of Rel: Modrn Africa|
Module replacesVarieties of Religion in Modern African Societies (THEO1180)
This module is approved as a discovery module
Module summaryThe aim of this module is to introduce students to the study of religion in sub-Saharan Africa. Where religion in Europe has been, to a considerable extent, privatised and pushed to the margins, in Africa it is very much part of the public domain and is central to the understanding of many aspects of African social and political life. The module will help students to learn about African traditional religion, Christianity and Islam in Africa and to understand the role of religion in contemporary African societies.
ObjectivesThrough this module students
• Are introduced to the three major religious traditions in Africa and their role in contemporary African societies: African Traditional Religions, Islam and Christianity.
• Become aware of the interactions and fluid boundaries of these religions in Africa, acknowledging the pluralist religious climate that characterises African societies historically and today.
• Come to understand that African traditional (or indigenous) religions are not 'primitive', tribal or static, but are inherently adaptable and dynamic.
• Come to understand that Islam and Christianity are also genuinely African religions which have been creatively appropriated by African peoples.
• Explore and come to understand some key issues at the intersection of religion and public life in contemporary Africa, such as witchcraft, sickness and health, gender and sexuality, politics and development.
• Are made enthusiastic for, and develop a further interest in, the study of religion in Africa.
On completion of this module, students
• Are able to outline the key characteristics and broad historical development of the three major religious traditions in Africa: African Traditional Religions, Islam and Christianity.
• Can describe the dynamics within and interactions between these three traditions in recent times.
• Can explain the public role of religion in contemporary African societies with reference to some specific social issues.
Students will develop skills of:
Knowledge and understanding of religious variety
Analysis of varied religious phenomena and data
Awareness of the significance of context
Awareness of core methods and concepts in the study of religion.
1. Introduction to (the study of) religion in Africa
2. African traditional religions
3. Christianity in Africa
4. Islam in Africa
5. Christian-Muslim relations in Africa
6. Religious innovation: Pentecostalism
7. Witchcraft in modern African societies
8. Religion and AIDS in Africa
9. Religion and politics in Africa
10. Religion and gender in Africa
11. Religion and homosexuality in Africa
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||84.00|
|Total Contact hours||16.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||100.00|
Private study2 hours preparation per lecture = 22 hours
3 hours preparation per seminar = 15 hours
Assessment preparation = 47 hours
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Assignment||1,000 word encyclopedia entry||50.00|
|Essay||1,000 word essay (analysis of news report)||50.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
*Critical analysis of a news report (newspaper article, weblog, TV or radio report) relating to issues of religion in Africa, answering the question what insight this report does give into the role of religion in a contemporary African context. Write an encyclopaedia entry of 1,000 words max. about religion in one particular country in Africa. Make sure that your entry focuses on at least two of the three following traditions: African indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam. Discuss the interactions between these traditions as well as to their internal diversity. Pay attention to both historical developments and to current trends.
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 10/07/2019
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