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The second afriBIAN conference in 2022 entitled “The Politics of Religion in Africa” was held at the University of Jos on 1 and 2 November. It was followed by an alumni workshop on 3 November 2022. An excursion and cultural activity to learn more about Jos and the Plateau State to round up the event took place on the last day, 4 November 2022.

This conference opened up fields of enquiry on the dynamic connection and synthesis between religion and political discourse(s) in contemporary African societies. It explored the multiple methods through which the political, cultural and social discourses constantly borrow from and intersect with fields of the secular and the spiritual.
The conference helped unlock key questions related to the contemporary dynamics of religion(s) in Africa, and the way they contribute to understanding everyday social life, as well as how past, present and future conditions of morality, ethics and spirituality intersect with questions of politics, culture, power, identity, gender and race. It sought to offer profound insight into the role of religion in mediating modern perceptions of self and other, and in shaping trans-local encounters in the fields of politics, media, art, literature and gender. For example, after the 2011 events in the MENA region, the religious discourses in Africa have not only shaped local political structures (constitutional alteration, rise of Islamic parties), but also the way people act in urban spaces, dress, and imagine present and future outcomes of social struggle. At the continental level, Morocco has launched a program that covers many African countries, in which Imams from Mali, Senegal, receive training to disseminate a liberal version of religious leadership, promote soft values of Islam and market Morocco’s religious policy internationally (Hmimnat 2019). Therefore, the conference explored the diverse ways in which religion has shaped and is still shaping political thoughts across Africa and how its appropriation in the public domain is changing secular institutions.
As many African countries e.g. Nigeria prepare for elections, it is important to interrogate how religion is approprieted in politics and how this is changing the religio-political landscape in Africa.

Alumni, who completed their doctoral studies at the University of Bayreuth and who currently work on Africa-centered topics, gave presentations on the following sub-topics:

  • Religion and politics
  • Religion, conflict and internal displacement
  • Religion and security policy
  • Religion and media policy
  • Religion, language and literature policy
  • Religion and gender policy




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