The revolution failed but will the revival succeed? Religious revitalization in Africa and the prospects for socio-economic transformation

30 November Print

The revolution failed but will the revival succeed? Religious revitalization in Africa and the prospects for socio-economic transformation

3 December, 15.30-17.00

by Abamfo Ofori Atiemo, University of Ghana

The current religious revitalization in Africa intensified in the 1990s, which also marked the last years of the era of the ‘African revolution’ (mid-1960s to the end of the 1990s). In the current era of democratization, the search for the most effective means to the transformation of Africa continues; and scholars and policy-makers have shown great interest in the religious revival, especially, the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, exploring the possible role of religion in the public sphere. It is against this background that this paper examines the prospects the religious orientation of contemporary African societies holds for the socio-economic transformation of those societies. With an analysis of the historical and recent developments in Ghana, it attempts a fresh evaluation of issues and argues that the religious factor in Africa represents an important ‘spiritual capital’, which has not received the necessary attention in the efforts to find effective paths to socio-economic transformation.

Abamfo Ofori Atiemo is a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana and a historian of religion who specializes in the history of religion in West Africa. He has a PhD from the VU University in Amsterdam and a Master of Philosophy and a BA in the Study of Religions from the University of Ghana. He has also studied at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague and the Trinity Theological Seminary in Legon, Ghana. His current research interests include Hinduism in Africa, religion and human rights and the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement in Africa.

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Location: Room 1A33 (1st floor), Pieter de la Court building, Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden, a 10-minute walk from Leiden CS

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