Exploring Religion in Africa

Established in 2014, this series of essays collections and monographs is a sub-series of Bible in Africa Studies (BiAS). The special character of  Exploring Religion in Africa (ERA) is the purpose to offer an international forum for topics related to religion in Africa even beyond the discipline of Biblical Studies. ERA welcomes excellent studies focussing on recent or historical developments in Christianity and/or other religions in Africa. ERA shares with BiAS the ideals of academic accuracy, the option for the poor, gender fairness, diversity and environmental responsibility. Online publication is without any costs; printed exemplars need to be funded.

Edited by Joachim Kügler, Kudzai Biri, Ezra Chitando, Rosinah Gabaitse, Masiiwa R. Gunda, Johanna Stiebert & Lovemore Togarasei.

ISSN: 2190-4944

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Religion and Social Marginalization in Zimbabwe / edited by Lovemore Togarasei, David Bishau & Ezra Chitando

Bamberg: Univ. of Bamberg Press, 2020
(Bible in Africa Studies  ; 26) (Exploring Religion in Africa ; 5)

Preis: 20,00 €

Marginalization means being disregarded, ostracized, harassed, disliked, persecuted, or generally looked down upon. Marginalized people often include women and children, the poor, the disabled, sexual, religious, or ethnic minorities, refugees. The marginalized are those who are socially, politically, culturally, or economically excluded from main-stream society. In history, the Church in Zimbabwe has played a role in improving the lives of the marginalized, but what is religion, especially Christianity, doing for the marginalized now? Although religion is also implicated in marginalisation, the contributions in this volume did not address this angle as they focused on the role that religion can and should play to fight marginalization. The chapters come from two conferences (2012, 2014) that were held under the flag of ATISCA. The contributions have been updated to include later developments and publications.

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Religion and Development in Africa / edited by Ezra Chitando, Masiiwa Ragies Gunda & Lovemore Togarasei. In cooperation with Joachim Kügler

Bamberg: Univ. of Bamberg Press, 2020
(Bible in Africa Studies  ; 25) (Exploring Religion in Africa ; 4)

Preis: 23,00 €

What is development? Who defines that one community/ country is “developed”, while another community/ country is “under-developed”? What is the relationship between religion and development? Does religion contribute to development or underdevelopment in Africa? These and related questions elicit quite charged reactions in African studies, development studies, political science and related fields. Africa’s own history, including the memory of marginalisation, slavery and exploitation by global powers ensures that virtually every discussion on development is characterised by a lot of emotions and conflicting views. In this volume scholars from various African countries and many different religions and denominations contribute to this debate.

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African Pentecostalism, the Bible, and Cultural Resilience : The Case of the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa / Kudzai Biri

Bamberg: Univ. of Bamberg Press, 2020
(Bible in Africa Studies; 24) (Exploring Religion in Africa ; 3)

Preis: 20,00 €

This volume, based on a PhD thesis submitted to the University of Zimbabwe, investigates the resilience of Shona religion and culture among ZAOGA Pentecostal Christians. Whereas the Pentecostal ideology suggests that ‘old things’ have passed away, it appears that ‘old things’ continue to have high significance for the ‘new’. The book demonstrates how belief in avenging spirits, witches and witchcraft, value of words spoken prior to death, the role, status and significance of women, belief in unnatural events, liturgy and salvation have remained relevant to the lives of ZAOGA Shona converts. The patterns of continuity, discontinuity, extension, collaboration, contradiction, re-interpretation and rejection between Shona traditional religion and culture and ZAOGA are explored, challenging the framing of African Pentecostalism as a mere imitation and parroting of US theology. The conclusion is that while ZAOGA self-consciously presents itself as a sophisticated, trans-national and progressive Pentecostal movement, members continue to wrestle with Shona indigenous beliefs and practices. An African womanist framework is adapted to challenge ZAOGA to promote the well-being of women.

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Abundant Life and Basic Needs : African Religions as a Resource for Sustainable Development, with Special Reference to Shona Religion / Bednicho Nyoni

Bamberg: Univ. of Bamberg Press, 2019
(Bible in Africa Studies ; 23) (Exploring Religion in Africa ; 2)

Preis: 19,50 €

In Africa, religion shows no sign of disappearing or diminishing as development theorists have generally supposed. Africans have certain religious values which are sources of inspiration and strength. If incorporated, they can greatly contribute to development initiatives in their planning, implementation and monitoring stages. The book shows that Euro-Western development practitioners excluded consideration of the religious dimension in formulating development policies towards Africa resulted in failure of their development strategies. Furthermore, the book emphasized that once indigenous African religion is rehabilitated as an important concept and variable in the understanding and implementation of social change and progress, development strategies will be assured to be successful. Therefore, the incorporation of religion(s) of the indigenous peoples should be given the desired attention. Moreover, to buttress the importance of religion(s) of the indigenous peoples of Africa, the book presents African Shona Religion’s voice in this discourse by using the indigenous Shona peoples, who live in Harare Province, in Seke Communal Area of Zimbabwe, as a case study for the sake of accuracy and critical analysis on the topic. Hence, despite its suffering from stereotyping, Shona religion continues to play a critical role in the life of the Zimbabweans.

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Multiplying in the Spirit: African Initiated Churches in Zimbabwe / ed. by Ezra Chitando, Masiiwa Ragies Gunda & Joachim Kügler

Bamberg: Univ. of Bamberg Press, 2014
(Bible in Africa Studies ; 15) (Exploring Religion in Africa ; 1)

Preis: 18,50 €

This volume was motivated by the realisation that AICs continue to be a significant player on Zimbabwe’s spiritual market. Members of predominantly Apostolic, but also Zionist, churches are highly visible in both rural and urban areas. Prophets from AICs are constantly in the news, alongside advertising their competence in urban areas. Thus it is high time to bring AICs being an important part of recent social reality in Zimbabwe back into academic focus. BiAS 15 at the same time is ERA 1 which means that this volume opens a new sub-series to BiAS which is meant to explore religion in Africa in all its manifold manifestation, be it Christian or not.

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