Sara Dorman (University of Edinburgh)
- Series F: Indigenous Knowledge and Religion
- GR 276
- Start time:
- 12 September, 2008 at 11:00 (UTC+0)
- Session slots:
Author:Philippa Hall (University of Central Lancashire)
Paper long abstract:
As the new century progresses, the Pentecostal movement in Africa continues to grow rapidly, both in terms of membership numbers and the social reach of ‘born-again’ beliefs and practices. This paper examines how Pentecostalists in southern Nigeria have negotiated the political and economic transformations that have occurred since the introduction of the structural adjustment programme (SAP) in 1986. The paper focuses upon the impact that SAP has had on education policy, in particular how reduced state expenditure has resulted in restricted public provision and opportunities for private providers. Many Pentecostal ministries have subsequently developed educational programmes for followers and these new ventures are now part of their business concerns. The paper examines the ways in which changes in education under SAP have shaped the class formation of the Pentecostal membership and have also modified the organisational structures of many ministries. Drawing upon case studies of ‘prosperity’ ministries, the paper analyses ideas about the acquisition, value and purpose of knowledge that are expressed among Pentecostalists and examines how these ideas inform the extensive Pentecostal investment in higher education that has occurred since 1999, a development that accords with SAP objectives. It is argued that the ‘prosperity’ form of Pentecostalism that has become predominant over the last two decades has an affinity with the rhetoric and policy objectives of structural adjustment, in particular with the advocacy of enterprise as the route out of poverty.
Paper long abstract:
In one of the village groups in northern Igbo land Islam was introduced as the second religion, next to the indigenous system of worship, but for the rest of Southeast Nigeria it was the third of the major religions introduced; coming many decades after the Christian faith. The dominance of Christian beliefs among the Igbo of Southeast Nigeria—described as one of the homogenous Christian regions in Africa (Nnorom 2003)—made Islamic proselytization in Igbo territory difficult and the pace of conversion very slow. Thus, by the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war in 1967, indigenous Muslims numbered approximately less than two hundred amidst a given population of over sixteen million Igbo. Notwithstanding the difficult beginnings, the Igbo are beginning to convert to Islam and, though still in the minority, the impact of indigenous Muslim presence is gradually being felt in a number of Igbo towns. The proposed paper would examine efforts at mutual co-existence between Igbo Christians and Muslims in Igbo land.
Author:Haruna Wakili (Bayero University, Kano)
Paper long abstract:
The year 1999 marked Nigeria’s return to democratic rule and since then the country’s political arena has become vibrant and indeed dominated by issues of political importance. Some of these issues are the revival of Sharia, the debate over resource control, proliferation of political parties, the anti-corruption campaign, economic reforms, and ethno-religious conflicts, among others. Of all these, the issue of the Sharia legal system and the role of religion in Nigeria’s political development became more attractive to scholars and observers of Nigeria’s political scene.
This paper attempts to examine the major expressions of Islam in Nigeria’s political arena through the increasing involvement of the Ulama (Islamic scholars) and Muslim activists in the political development of the country. Specifically, the paper reviews the increased political activism of the Ulama in Nigeria’s political sphere since 1999, particularly in Kano State. It underscores the role played by the Ulama in the April 2007 elections, which revolved around mobilizing Muslim voters to participate in the electoral process to elect credible, honest and God-fearing people into elective positions. Thus, the paper draws attention to the fact that in some Muslim dominated States, like Kano, the Ulama are indeed becoming key players in Nigeria’s contemporary political arena.