Urbanity, Religiosity and Inter-Religiosity in Contemporary Africa 
Abdoulaye Sounaye (Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient)
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Start time:
29 June, 2017 at 14:00 (UTC+0)
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Short Abstract:

How does urbanity shape religiosity in Africa? In return, how religious interactions affect urban life? This panel examines religiosity beyond a single tradition focusing on coexistence in the same urban environment. It puts into conversation cases grounded in lived religion and thick ethnography.

Long Abstract

In the last twenty years, urbanity has proved a major factor in the development of many religious groups, organizations, trends as well as the forms of interactions among religions in Africa. Whether in Accra, Ouagadougou, Kinshasa, Nairobi or Casablanca, religion has become a key element in everyday life. Christianity or Islam, the two major religious traditions on the continent have been very visible and influential. Next to these traditions coexist many others. This panel focuses on the intersection between urbanity and religiosity paying particular attention to the ways in which dynamics emerging at that intersection affect religious experience. How does the urban context become the site of new politics, geographies, and expressions of religiosity? How these processes challenge traditional modes of existence in the city?

The panel sets to examine the ways in which religious practices, actors, discourses and institutions coexist, but also collectively shape urban space and religious experience. Coexistence takes many forms: sharing, borrowing, but also competition and conflict. What are the modalities of this coexistence? How do urban living conditions, socialities and politics affect religiosity? In return, how the ways of being religious affect urban life?

One of the goals here is to contribute new sites of analysis of being religious in the city beyond a single religious tradition. The panel will put into conversation case studies concerned with lived religion and grounded in an ethnography of urban religiosity in contemporary Africa.

Accepted papers: