Accepted paper:

Displaced religion and informal economic life in Kampala, Uganda

Authors:

Karen Lauterbach

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at displaced religion as a particular kind of religious innovation and how these forms of religious movements and activities are intersecting with the informal economic practices of displaced Congolese living in the city of Kampala.

Paper long abstract:

This paper looks at displaced religion as a particular kind of religious innovation and how these forms of religious movements and activities are intersecting with the informal economic practices of displaced Congolese living in the city of Kampala. In this case, religion plays a role both at the material everyday level of life and as a way to make sense of a displacement context. The everyday life of displaced Congolese is marked by a high degree of informality and precariousness in which economic transactions unfold at both material and spiritual levels. The paper discusses how informal economic transactions unfold and how they are part of ordinary livelihood strategies and spiritual economies at the same time. The paper argues that the informal, fluid and precarious economic lives of displaced people take on a particular meaning when understood from the perspective of a religious language and moral practices. This involves ideas of spiritual reciprocity, compassion and sacrifice. The paper moreover discussed a variety of informal economic activities in which the religious and the economic intersect, such as spiritual talents and music.

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Stream:
Religion
Entanglements of informality and religion in African cities