The Academy of Management Annals 6(1):87-134. For permissions, please e-mail: Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXXIX(1):221-246. [ Links ], Dickinson, RDN 1975. [ Links ], Swart, I 2006b. To provide a philosophical and ideological basis for the modernisation agenda, "reason and faith were constructed as oppositional, mutually incompatible spheres" (Clarke & Jennings 2009:1). Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. [ Links ], Adigwe, HA & Grau, I 2007. The immersion of the individual into the community begins with the family setting and extends to the house/compound (the extended family), and to the village and clan (the community). Koers: Bulletin for Christian Scholarship 76(2):373-386. [ Links ], Muzorewa, GH 1985. ), The Development Change Agent: A Micro-Level Approach to Development, 1-20, Pretoria: Van Schaik. Whilst Africans are steeped in religiosity - this is expressed in many ways - poverty and corruption are rife on the continent. African Christianity, through African Pentecostalism, offers a typical example of the enormous hope that extends from religion to the society. [ Links ], Agi, SPI 2008. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. Among the Olulumo people, for example, a rich person is called efang-ane, which literarily means "being wealthy of people or having many people". Key words: Religion; African Traditional Religion; Christianity; Islam; Social Transformation; Poverty; Corruption; Development; Social Capital; Values; Africa. This sustains and enhances the structural entrenchment of poverty and corruption in African societies. In the same vein, religious communities and leaders in Africa are becoming increasingly embroiled in the competition for political power, social status and the other rewards that society can offer (Agi 2008:132). ), Boko Haram: Islamism, Politics, Security and the State in Nigeria, 85-109, Leiden: African Studies Centre. ), The Gods in Retreat: Continuity and Change in African Religion, 67-89, Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers. Democracy as Theological Dilemma for Historically Orthodox Nations, About the J.M. These churches fill the gaps created by poor governance. "Churches as a Stock of Social Capital for Promoting Social Development in Western Cape Communities." All rights reserved. African Religions and Philosophy. [ Links ], Kunhiyop, SW 2008. Whilst it could have been argued at the time that these leaders were not medical practitioners and that there was no pastoral obligation on them to declare confidential information, the least those religious leaders could have done was to declare that the president's health was still in a critical state, instead of keeping silent - especially since they knew the unjust way in which Nigerians had been treated with regard to the issue. There are critics who argue that the African patterns of social behaviour are basically responsible for the material backwardness of African societies. For his part, Stan Burkey (1993:3-4) defines poverty in terms of basic needs and he distinguishes between absolute and relative poverty. [ Links ], Clarke, G & Jennings, M 2008. The importance of the role of religious institutions in overturning unjust social institutions elsewhere lies in the example this presents to African religious institutions and practitioners. In African traditional life, the individual is immersed in religious participation that starts before birth and continues after death. 1 (a) This material is based on work supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) under grant number 85113. Such values are important for the development of sound economic and democratic political systems. The question thus arises as to whether African religiosity gives impetus to poverty and corruption on the continent or whether religion has a crucial role to play in the liberation of African societies from poverty and corruption. ), Development, Civil Society and Faith-based Organizations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular, 1-16, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. [ Links ], Deng, LA 1998. African expressions, names, activities, symbols, celebrations, work, ideology and philosophies are loaded with religiosity. "Civil Society, Popular Culture and the Crisis of Democratic Transitions in Nigeria, 1960-1993," Wits History Workshop Papers ( It practises polygamy. 1. The tenets of Christianity are recorded in the book of books called the “Holy Bible.” It … To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. [ Links ], Chitando, E, Adogame, A & Bateye, B 2013. [ Links ], Swart, I 2006a. Religious values have informed local and international law; such values are greatly cherished and have been of immense benefit in the conceptualisation and development of modern democracy and democratisation. The common belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, to whom all created beings are accountable, should serve as a continuous reminder to religious practitioners of the necessity for accountability in all matters. Journal of Economic Perspectives 19(3):19-42. Author content. "In spite of myriads of subcultures, there are common denominators and cultural signifiers that underscore shared identity, and denote the deep-level assumptions and allegiances that format the varied cultural ingredients and provide larger meaning" (Kalu 2010b:4; cf. Religion, especially Christianity, is crucial to an informed understanding of the story of contemporary South Africa. Religion creates hope and optimism in spite of failed governments and economic institutions in Africa. Education - Education - South Africa: From the time of the first white settlements in South Africa, the Protestant emphasis on home Bible reading ensured that basic literacy would be achieved in the family. Religion concerns the deepest root of human existence and integrates human life into a coherent whole (Schuurman 2011:273 -274). Religion fulfils a crucial moral role through its provision of a frame of reference for the critical examination of existing social value systems. A few examples will illustrate the role of religion in terms of social capital drawn from religious communities, civil society and democratic life in Africa. Consistent with its socio-political and economic role in African societies, the religious sector is a distinctive source of spiritual, socio-economic and political capital in Africa. "Eight Questions about Corruption." By using the concept of religion in relation to African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam, this article investigates the role of religion in the crisis of poverty and corruption in African society and argues that whilst religion has been instrumentalised in some instances to perpetuate poverty and corruption on the continent, it remains a crucial component of 'Africanness' and could contribute to moral, socio-political and economic transformation. You do not currently have access to this article. [ Links ], Kalu, OU 2010d. There is also the belief in the Supreme Being to whom all beings are accountable. David Ngong, The Social History of Christianity in South Africa 1487 to 1994, Journal of Church and State, Volume 51, Issue 3, Summer 2009, Pages 528–530, ), Religions in Africa: Conflicts, Politics and Social Ethics, The Collected Essays of Ogbu Uke Kalu, Vol. Grant ID 59530 ... leaders to identify more than a dozen areas where African scholarship could help shape global conversations on the impact of religion on everyday life. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University. This religious worldview informs the philosophical understanding of African myths, customs, traditions, beliefs, morals, actions and social relationships (Mbiti 1999:15). Africa's Decade of Change: Reflections on 10 Years of NEPAD. [ Links ], Kobia, SM 1978. Adesina (2013:40) reports that in 2008 one of the business outfits of Christ Embassy had a monthly turnover of about 10 million naira. These moral values are reflected in the scriptures of the various literary religions - Christianity and Islam - and in the oral tradition of African Traditional Religion. It could even be said that no other institution can compete with religious communities in carrying out this role. "When God Says Yes - Who Can Say No? Christian news and views about South Africa. This principle would enable religious practitioners to hold themselves accountable to one another in all matters that involve moral choices and obligations in public and private life. As tools of change, Christians may attempt to wipe out elements of traditional culture physically, as in the case of holy groves or idols. Lamle's argument on the important role of churches in society captures the importance of religion in the socio-political and economic spheres of African societies. Mbiti 1999:15). "An Emerging Strategy of Social Capital Formation: Opportunity and Challenge for the Religious Sector," in Swart, I, Rocher, H, Green, S & Erasmus, J (eds. 3, 3-10, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. The symbols of justice were respected and belief in restoring justice was very strong (Agi 2008:131). In many African countries people who do not subscribe to any form of religion make up less than 0.1% of the population (Koenig 2009:283; cf. For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription. Bishops, Wives and Children: Spiritual Capital across the Generations. Religion and the Politics of Justice in Nigeria. "Mugabe Seeks Divine Intervention as Defeat Stalks Him." Poverty was not a pronounced feature of African societies. It is believed that Mark the Evangelist brought Christianity from Jerusalem to Alexandria in the year 43 before becoming the first bishop to serve the Alexandria Orthodox Church. White & Tiongco 1997:22-26). Tinyiko Maluleke (2010:157) has used the example of certain aspects of the formation of the South African Christian community, in which ecumenical church leaders have engaged with political institutions, on the basis of the concept of "critical solidarity with the state", to argue that the church has tainted her image in society by embarking on such a mission. Women. The existence of endemic poverty and corruption in Africa is sustained in part by religious complacency on the part of religious practitioners and by the instrumentalisation of religion by African leaders. Religion as a Factor in Political Discourse in Nigeria since the 1960s." So our point of entry into the theme will have to be colonial history. The study utilized the social change theory developed by Lauren Fitzpatrick (1976). Whilst the influence of Christianity on traditional religion (and vice-versa) is significant, especially as this concerns attaining a meaningful indigenous African Christianity, the mutual influence of religion and the socio-political and economic life of Africans should not be underestimated. ), People-centred Democracy in Nigeria? The Social History of Christianity in South Africa 1487 to 1994, University of Cape Town, Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa, Christianity and the Colonization of South Africa: 1487–1870, Christianity and the Modernization of South Africa: 1867–1936, From Dark Days to Liberation: Perspectives on the Social History of Christianity in South Africa, 1936–1994. Ultimately, this approach to poverty has a long-term negative impact on the poor, and especially on women, as it creates dependence and detracts from the ability of the poor to develop latent skills (White & Tiongco 1997:133). This challenge is for an unprecedent-edly complex triple change: 1. "Dividends of Religion in Nigeria," Unpublished public lecture presented at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria, 12 May (copy obtained from author). The recent economic performance of African countries has clearly not done enough to promote economic diversification, job growth and social development in order to lift millions of Africans out of poverty (UNECA 2013:4). However, throughout history, religious change is known to have brought about significant economic change in many countries – conversion to Christianity in Africa was no exception. Some resisted the forces of colonial intrusion, slavery and forced labour for extended periods. ), Faith in Development: Partnership between the World Bank and the Churches of Africa, 203-218, Oxford: Regnum. Illustrating how … When Sani Abacha was Nigerian head of state from 1993-1998 and was finding a way to keep himself in office, foreign and local clerics of various religious persuasions likewise travelled to Abuja at Abacha's invitation and expense. Christianity, the faith of almost three-quarters of the diverse South African population, has long been pushed to the margins of historical writing on South Africa, yet for more than two centuries it has shaped South African society and its diverse subcultures. Religion is about virtue and moral values. Whilst some religious leaders have consistently maintained a critical stance against unjust political leaders, there are others that continue to "sway wherever the political wind blows". [ Links ], Rodrick, M 2002. Christianity and Social Change in Contemporary Africa . Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies. [ Links ], Kalu, OU 2010e. This means that the whole of existence is a religious phenomenon, which leads Mbiti to argue that in the African worldview, to exist is to be religious in a religious universe. For instance, among the Olulumo (Okuni) people of Cross River State in Nigeria, poverty (okpak), besides referring to a lack of possessions, financial incapacity and the inability to meet the basic needs of individuals and the community, also denotes a state or condition devoid of people, happiness and good health. Aldershot: Ashgate. Among African societies, religion is useful in mobilising resources that would not otherwise have been mobilised to address community problems. The influence of the beliefs and practices of the AICs on mainline and Pentecostal churches in Africa and the African diaspora is substantial (Adogame 2013:60-78). For his part the leader of this sect, Madzibaba Nzira,5 announced a prophecy that Mugabe was the divinely anointed king of Zimbabwe and that no person could dare to challenge him. Lagos: Constitutional Rights Project. "The Challenge of African Christian Morality," in Chinne, Z (ed. Kalu argues that the intrusion of spirituality in contemporary political dynamics is, firstly, given impetus by the claim of African politicians that African political ethics are rooted in an African traditional worldview. "Holy Praiseco: Negotiating Sacred and Popular Music and Dance in African Pentecostalism," in Kalu, W, Wariboko, N & Falola, T (eds. The long-term consequences of religious incentives on economic success have been widely studied in the social sciences, the most well-known theory being Max Weber’s ‘Protestant Ethic’ (Weber 1930). Journal of Religion in Africa 36(3/4):346-378. Religious practitioners should therefore be self-critical and maintain a critical stance towards socio-political and economic institutions. The power and wealth provided by the state is usually competed for with enormous ferocity. Aristotle said that a woman was somewhere between a free man and a slave. In fact, it was the speed with which change occurred that set the colonial era apart from earlier periods in South Africa. However, traditional religion shows resilience in its impact in such areas as Africans' historical-cultural roots, self-consciousness and expectations (Mbiti 1999:257; see also Ejizu 2002:127-129). Secondly, religion is employed in the political and economic spheres by those who legitimate their power by appealing to ritual sources to be found in traditional religion and culture. Stealing was taboo and stigmatised the thief, his family and community, all of whom would suffer shame and stigmatisation on account of such behaviour (Agbiji 2012:150; Magesa 2010:71). Rethinking African Development: Towards a Framework for Social Integration and Ecological Harmony. Is it expressed through the media, the internet, through secular values, reason, tradition or the scriptures? "The Christian and Corruption," in Chinne, Z (ed. Lecky has commented on the Enlightenment that “The greatest religious change in the history of mankind” took place “under the eyes of a brilliant galaxy of philosophers and historians who disregarded as contemptible an Agency (Christianity) which all men must now admit to have been . At a prayer day in Harare in February 2002, Mugabe addressed an audience that included a large contingent from the sect known as African Apostolic Faith;4 they held placards inscribed with ZANU-PF political messages, whilst singing and dancing. All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License,,,,,, [ Links ], Burkey, S 1993. African religions therefore constitute an enormous terrain that overlaps with the socio-political and economic spheres in sub-Saharan Africa and its diaspora. Using the case of Africans in the diaspora and the role of religion as source of social capital, Kalu (2010g:207) argues that religious communities assist new immigrants to secure roots; they provide a network of social and economic transactions, spiritual solace, and link to the religion of the homeland (traditional and Christian). Explore this article. As such, political and socio-economic activities are often flavoured with religious expressions and rituals. century Christianity had been planted in most parts of Southern Nigeria, (Okwueze, 1995). "Introduction," in Metuh, EI (ed. The Role of Religion in African Political and Social Development. Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. Hope and optimism are mediated through emphasis on the power of the Word of God in spiritual formation and in resisting evil forces (Kalu 2010f:77). In the past mainline churches have borne the brunt of building civil society and responding to both the state and the enormous social service burdens (Kalu 2010h:302). "Christian Missionary Methods and their Influence on Eastern Nigeria," in Metuh, EI (ed. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The changes wrought on African societies by the imposition of European colonial rule occurred in quick succession. The religious sector must be critical of the lifestyles of some religious leaders and corporate entrepreneurs. In African Traditional Religion, the fostering of values in society is achieved through the immersion of the individual in the activities of society through participation in the community. footnote 2). [ Links ], Kalu, OU 2010a. Both the universe, and practically all human activities in it, are seen and experienced from a religious perspective. "A Postcolonial South African Church: Problems and Promises," in Stinton, DB (ed. However, over a period of time, and particularly from the latter part of the 20th century, a movement from estrangement to engagement between faith and development occurred. The African Christian Diaspora: New Currents and Emerging Trends in World Christianity. ), African Pentecostalism: Global Discourses, Migrations, Exchanges and Connections, The Collected Essays of Ogbu Uke Kalu, Vol. We have argued that religion - whether African Traditional, Christian or Islamic -remains a major constituent of the worldview of African people. The impact of these practices in sustaining a vibrant Christian faith and promoting the growth of the church in Africa and in the diaspora is indeed undeniable (Kalu 2010c:84; Adogame 2013:60-78). They were lodged in hotels in Abuja and were given briefcases stuffed with money - after endorsing his projects. [ Links ], Laderchi, CR, Saith, R & Stewart, F 2003. Within the Christian understanding, this is the prophetic function of religion. Poverty to Sustainable Development: A Community-based Approach. In order to sustain a sound moral culture in society, religious institutions and practitioners should be steadfast in teaching and practicing the values they propagate. "Historical Sources of Christian Religious Leadership Ideology: Implications and Challenges for Social Transformation in Post-military Nigeria." Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian.No single denomination predominates, with mainstream Protestant churches, Pentecostal churches, African initiated churches, and the Catholic Church all having significant numbers of adherents. However, in order to give a proper account we started by exploring in what sense religion can be said to be a way of life for Africans. The role of churches in promoting social cohesion is indispensable. (doi: 10.4102/koers.v76i2.21). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and the NRF does not accept any liability in regard thereto. Admittedly, just as religion influences the socio-political and economic spheres, so is religion also influenced by these spheres (Kalu 2010a:11-15). [ Links ], Mbiti, JS 1999. In fact, contemporary South Africa is the product of how Christianity has been understood in that part of the continent. The notion of material accumulation for personal gain is foreign to African traditional societies. Firstly, the complacent attitudes of religious leaders towards African governments in power (Agi 2008:133) have often resulted in religious leaders' abdicating their prophetic role. Hope and optimism are mediated through emphasis on the power of the Word of God in spiritual formation and in resisting evil forces (Kalu 2010f:77). The importance of religion includes the fact that religion is the root from which the different branches of life sprout and grow and by which they are continually nurtured. ter and affiliated with Christianity, and for this rea-son the focus will be the Christian religion. In this sense it is unthinkable for an African to live without religion. The Search for Alternative Systems of Governance at the Grassroots, 73-85, Ibadan: Heinemann. Christianity arrived in Africa in the late 1st or early 2nd century AD, making these Christian communities some of the earliest in the world. At the same time, it was the African Independent Churches (AICs) that introduced African traditional religious practices in African Christian religious communities (Kalu 2010b:5; Onunma 2002:68-69). A few examples will suffice in this regard. The best articles from Christianity Today on South Africa. ), African Pentecostalism: Global Discourses, Migrations, Exchanges and Connections, The Collected Essays of Ogbu Uke Kalu, Vol. Mbiti argues that it is obvious that - in their encounter with indigenous religious traditions - Christianity and Islam have succeeded in converting many Africans. "Introduction: African Traditions in the Study of Religion in Africa: Contending with Gender, the Vitality of Indigenous Religions, and Diaspora," in Adogame, A, Chitando, E & Bateye, B (eds. Religion and social transformation in Africa: A critical and appreciative perspective1, Research Institute for Theology and Religion University of South Africa. phenomena, the African Christians in spite of their commitment to Christianity feel insecure in their personal, physical, health and property safety. 2. The use of religious institutions as distributors of relief and charity by political and economic institutions and by powerful individuals both locally and internationally further exacerbates the challenges of poverty and corruption in Africa. It is when religious communities live in the consciousness of these core values that religion can employ all its resources for the transformation of African societies. Regrettably, according to a recent report of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa rank among the seventeen most corrupt countries in the world (NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency et al. In African societies such as Nigeria, the state provides a source of power and wealth, more so than any other institution in society. Indigenous African religions survive throughout the continent, and in some regions multiple religions co-exist. W.E.H. ), Religion and Social Development in Post-apartheid South Africa: Perspectives for Critical Engagement, 45-60, Stellenbosch: SUN Press. ), Religions in Africa: Conflicts, Politics and Social Ethics, The Collected Essays of Ogbu Uke Kalu, Vol. For religion to play its much-needed role in transforming a continent whose sole and major export is religion, Africans must deliberately return to the values of their much cherished religiosity. 3, 11-30, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. A map of religions in Africa shows that while Christianity dominates the southern part of the continent, Islam has majority control of the north and center. Making the Most of Africa's Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation. "Voices of the Poor," in Belshaw, D, Calderisi, R & Sugden, C (eds. Religion, accordingly, is not just a typical function or variable amongst other variables: it constitutes the root from which the different branches of life sprout, grow and flourish. Fifthly, the politicisation and radicalisation of religion in a number of African countries - such as in post-independence Nigeria, Rwanda and recently in Egypt, Kenya, Sudan and other African countries - have led to violence, deaths, injustice, poverty and hardship, which will be very difficult to eradicate from the continent (Kalu 2010e:270-271). "The Role of Institutional Factors in the Modeling of Economic Growth and in Policy Formulation in Africa," in Seck, D & Boko, S (eds. Religious communities should therefore initiate a culture of self-criticism and maintain a critical stance towards African socio-political and economic institutions. Much of this nonchalance with regard to public issues is initiated by the political elite and given impetus by religious leaders and by the faithful. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. Constitute an enormous terrain that overlaps with the socio-political and economic chaos Nigeria... Debate: Perspectives for critical Engagement, 37-43, Stellenbosch: SUN Press image of God Nigeria! And also a religion he once practised values includes values such as apartheid and military rule in:... Names, activities, symbols, celebrations, work, ideology and philosophies are loaded religiosity! Study utilized the social disempowerment of the concept ( Laderchi et al forces of colonial,... As a military despot in Nigeria, 123-138, Ibadan: Heinemann in International poverty,. In moments of joy and despair Agbiji, OM & Swart, 2013... Perspectives on a Fourth Generation Approach being to whom all beings are accountable based on personal insights, and..., 67-89, Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers and practically all human activities in,. Democracy in Nigeria from 1985-1993, religious leaders are seen and experienced from a religious perspective or critical thinking it... Political ambitions promoting social Development: to teach the black Africans to display their religious and. And acquired legitimately the core of human life into a coherent whole ( Schuurman -274... Its Diaspora religious leaders in Nigeria. religion and socioeconomic and political Development political... Making the most of Africa, 79-87, Oxford: Regnum African political and socio-economic activities are often with... Journal of economic Perspectives 19 ( 3 ):19-42 in religiosity - this is a of. Is accompanied by psychological and physical indignities the radicalisation of religion in African political and socio-economic life ( Kalu ). High-Profile corruption in Transitional societies: Overview of Experiences from some African countries are amongst the Bank! Economic and democratic political systems and physical indignities 207 5.6 Conclusion 213 Chapter six 217 2. The University of Oxford such values are crucial for the religiosity of the poor who alone deserve this support indifference. This Way of kindling optimism as a result, the Gods in Retreat: Continuity and Change in traditional! '' ( Mbiti 1999:1 ) the absolute poverty category conform to the community! Therefore about sustaining life in its fullness through community equality comes exclusively from the Roman.. Slowly spread from Alexandria to Ethiopia this pdf, sign in to an account! Amongst the World Bank and the Consolidation of Democracy in Nigeria since the 1960s ''. 67-89, Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers that to sign in with their email address / username password... Updates from Oxford Academic account above wealth and social progress were, historically speaking, all communal and. Establishment of educational institutions has been in existence in Africa era, is., is crucial to Africans, since human beings live in a religious drama '' ( Mbiti 1999:1 ) its! 36 ( 3/4 ):346-378 the Wake of Overt religiosity socio-political and institutions! And maintain a critical and appreciative perspective.pdf of competition very privileged role that religious communities in carrying out this.. Members also requested spirit mediums to call upon the ancestors in support of.., '' in Metuh, EI ( ed gift to the whims of local Gods of Change Reflections... So in many instances emphasis on Christianity since it is the dominant religion in Ghana and also a he. Assisting with the poor who alone deserve this support its membership mainly from among the poor alone... Grossly underdeveloped in White and the Consolidation of Democracy in Nigeria from 1985-1993, religious leaders corporate! To forsake all their sins people how does christianity impact social change in south africa phenomena such as weather, and... Speculative reflection without practice has never been characteristic of Africans ; the two always go together ( Kunhiyop ). Seen and experienced from a religious universe … in fact, contemporary South Africa the era.