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Futures of religion in and from Africa: exploring religious futures and decolonial theories 
Benedikt Pontzen (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin)
Justice Arthur (Pentecost University)
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Justice Arthur (Pentecost University)
Religion (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 23
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

We invite empirical, analytical, and conceptual reflections on the futures of religion in and from Africa. Which religious futures are envisioned by African actors? How will religions fare in Africa and impact its futures? How can we (re)think religion from Africa and decolonize its study?

Long Abstract:

We invite empirical, analytical, and conceptual reflections on the futures of religion in and from Africa. Empirically, we are interested in different visions of the future that are propagated by various religious actors in Africa. How do religious actors in Africa envision the future? How is this influenced by their religious backgrounds? How does this affect their religions? Analytically, we invite reflections on current trends and challenges as well as future contingencies of religions in Africa. Given the continent's increasing number of interreligious encounters and adaptations, its vivacious religious youth movements, and the hardening of religious boundaries due to the rise of reformist or exclusivist groups, religions in Africa appear as a highly dynamic and contested field. How will religions fare in Africa in the future? How will religions shape and be part of the continent's futures? Which trends can we identify? Conceptually, we seek to (re)think religions from Africa and to decolonize their study. Therefore, we investigate the history of 'religion' in Africa and reflect on the concept's colonial pasts and postcolonial trajectories. Furthermore, we ask how decolonial research on religions in Africa can be realized in theory and practice. How can we (re)think 'religion' from Africa? How can we overcome colonial legacies and global inequalities in the study of religions in Africa? We invite papers that offer thick descriptions of religious visions of the future in different African contexts, analyses of current trends and challenges, and/or conceptual reflections on the decolonial study of religions from Africa.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -