Thinking Globally about African Religion

Jacob K. Olupona

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Thinking Globally about African Religion

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The global dimensions of African religion sweep across the plains of the African continent and into the African diaspora. Contemporary “African religion” is itself a product of globalization, for it is less a single tradition than a sociological context in which the elements of a variety of indigenous religious experiences are combined with Islam and Christianity. New religious structures reflect emerging values and the adoption of new practices in a changing social context. In the case of the African religions, this process reflects a growing pluralism among religious institutions in Africa. There are independent churches in Africa, including the Celestial Church of Christ, the Christ Apostolic Church, and Cherubim and Seraphim in West Africa; Zulu Zionist churches in South Africa; and the Simon Kimbanque Church in Zaire. This article also discusses Pentecostal or charismatic churches, mainline mission churches, indigenous traditions and faiths, and civil religion in Africa.

Keywords: Africa; globalization; Islam; Christianity; independent churches; pluralism; charismatic churches; mission churches; indigenous traditions; civil religion

Article.  3018 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations

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