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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 4, Issue 1, 2016
Religion and Violence in Africa

Table of Contents

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents

1. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Margo Kitts Whose “Religion” and Whose “Violence”? Definition and Diversity in African Studies
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This introduction explores some complications in identifying religion and violence in the indigenous imaginations of Africa. The meaning of both terms can be contested when applied to sub-Saharan Africa, where “reenchanted traditions” (J.-A. Mbembé, “African Modes of Self-Writing”) have emerged as features of African regional wars. Examples show the necessity for expanded perspectives on religion and violence, beyond European categories of thought. Then the introduction summarizes the essays within issue 4.1.
2. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Elias Kifon Bongmba Homosexuality, Ubuntu, and Otherness in the African Church
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In this essay I argue that the notion of ubuntu offers a way of rethinking the negative discourses on homosexuality in Africa and in the African church. Ubuntu promotes accepting communication within the ecclesial community in Africa. The essay selectively reviews some of the negative discourses from political and religious leaders, and then discusses the possibilities which ubuntu philosophy offers for addressing the divisions over homosexuality.
3. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Mary Nyangweso Negotiating Cultural Rights to Affirm Human Rights: Challenges Women Face in the Twenty-First Century
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Leyla Hussein, a 32-year-old Londoner and leading activist against female genital cutting, conducted an experimental study to test the influence of “political correctness” on attitudes toward female genital cutting. With a signed petition supporting female genital cutting, she approached shoppers and told them that she wanted “to protect her ‘culture, traditions and rights.’” She received nineteen signatures to her petition in thirty minutes. Some of those who signed the petition stated that they believed that female genital cutting was wrong, but they agreed to sign the petition out of respect of Ms. Hussein’s culture. In a world that affirms both cultural and human rights, negotiation of both human and group rights tend to lead to “political correctness.” When these values are justified by religion, they are even harder to negotiate. How can one reconcile human and corporate rights without compromising the rights of women? This essay explores implications of political correctness on efforts to affirm women’s rights. Drawing examples from female genital cutting, the paper examines implications of moral theories like moral universalism and cultural relativism to argue for cross-cultural universals approach as possible reconciliatory approach towards affirming human rights.
4. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Palwasha L. Kakar, Melissa Nozell Engaging the Religious Sector for Peace and Justice in Libya: Analysis of Current Discourses
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The paper will problematize the boundaries between “religious” discourse and “political” discourse as they are drawn in the midst of violent conflict and contestation in Libya, by exploring the historical context, current religious trends and influential religious leaders as identified in the interviews. This paper sheds significant light on the little understood relationship between violence, political contestation, and the religious sector in Libya, mapping community perceptions of religious actors’ relationship to violent conflict, interactions between political and religious phenomena, and the actual responses of major religious actors to external violence such as that perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State. As the voices of those interviewed throughout Libya as part of this study reveal, both the perception and reality of the relationship between what is political and religious are not easily parsed, and episodes of violence often highlight the complicated interconnectedness between these realms.
5. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Ian Linden, Thomas Thorp Religious Conflicts and Peace Building in Nigeria
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Historical analysis confirms the home-grown character of Nigeria’s conflicts and the complexity of their peaceful resolution. Religious leaders have traditionally contested political space with other actors and continue to do so. But the religiosity of popular culture is such that Nigerian religious leaders can make a substantive contribution to peace building and countering religious extremism if given the time, space and tools to do so. Elections have been critical moments in the evolution of religious tensions and conflicts owing to the country’s geographical demographic and history, and the popular hope of correcting injustice that they evoke. There is a need to distinguish between genuine religious conflicts and conflicts that are essentially socio-economic or about competition for political power which become “religionised.” The evolution of the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram, can be traced back to intra-Muslim conflicts and anti-Sufi movements. But it reflects no less the underdevelopment and poverty of the Northeast and the impact of corruption on the perception of state and national government. The crude and violent narrative of Abubakar Shekau, its leader, shows a deterioration beyond that of its founder Malam Yusuf, who was able to offer financial and economic inducements over and above a rejection of most aspects of modernity and Western education. Increasingly, efforts are being made by religious leaders at both national, and local levels through formal, and grassroots networks to build better understanding and awareness between faiths to change and challenge narratives. With the appropriate support, these networks have great potential for improving communal relations and overcoming Boko Haram’s narratives of hate.
book reviews
6. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Ipsita Chatterjea The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence. Edited by Andrew Murphy
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7. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jamel Velji Striving in the Path of God: Jihād and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought. By Asma Afsaruddin
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8. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Matthew Recla Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence. By Karen Armstrong
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9. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
John Soboslai Sacred Suicide. Edited by Carole M. Cusack, James Lewis, and George Chryssides
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