Religion and Displacement in Africa

Compassion and Sacrifice in Congolese Churches in Kampala, Uganda

in Religion and Theology
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This article is about the role of religion in contexts of displacement. The article looks at the role churches and church leaders play in the lives of refugees and more particularly the assistance that these actors provide. The analytical approach is to take into consideration both religious ideas and experiences as well as the everyday practices of people and the socio-economic structures within which they live. The empirical focus is on Congolese Christian congregations in Kampala, Uganda that for the most are founded and attended by refugees. I analyse the forms of assistance that are provided to refugees, how this is conceptualised as well as the practices in a perspective that includes the intersection between religious ideas (compassion and sacrifice) and ideas around social relationships, gift-giving and reciprocity.

Religion and Displacement in Africa

Compassion and Sacrifice in Congolese Churches in Kampala, Uganda

in Religion and Theology

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References

1

Field notes 13 January 2013.

3

Karen Lauterbach“Spiritual Gifts and Relations of Exchange among Congolese in Kampala, Uganda,” in Religion and Development – Nordic Perspectives on Involvement in Africa (ed. Thomas S. Drønen; New York N.Y.: Peter Lang 2014) 75–86.

5

Timothy Longman“Church Politics and the Genocide in Rwanda,” Journal of Religion in Africa 31 vol. 2 (2001): 163–186.

8

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh“Introduction: Faith-Based Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement,” Journal of Refugee Studies 24 no. 3 (2011): 430.

9

Jean-François Mayer“Introduction. ‘In God I Have Put My Trust’: Refugees and Religion,” Refugee Survey Quarterly 26 no. 2 (2007): 6–10; Ben Jones and Marie Juul Petersen “Instrumental Narrow Normative? Reviewing Recent Work on Religion and Development” Third World Quarterly 32 no. 7 (2011): 1291–1306.

10

Joel Robbins“Anthropology and Theology: An Awkward Relationship?,” Anthropological Quarterly 79 no. 2 (2006): 285–294.

11

See for instance Paul GiffordGhana’s New Christianity. Pentecostalism in a Globalising African Economy (London: Hurst & Company2004) and Birgit Meyer “‘Make a Complete Break with the Past’: Memory and Post-Colonial Modernity in Ghanaian Pentecostal Discourse” Journal of Religion in Africa 28 no. 3 (1998): 316–349.

12

Harri Englund and James Leach“Ethnography and the Meta-Narratives of Modernity,” Current Anthropology 41 no. 2 (2000): 225–248.

13

Robbins“Anthropology and Theology” 292.

14

Joel Robbins“Afterword: Let’s Keep it Awkward: Anthropology, Theology, and Otherness,” The Australian Journal of Anthropology 24 no. 3 (2013): 329–337.

15

Robbins“Afterword” 330.

16

Robert A. Orsi“When 2 + 2 = 5: Can We Begin to Think about Unexplained Religious Experiences in Ways that Acknowledge Their Existence?,” The American Scholar 76 no. 2 (2007): 34–43.

17

Orsi“When 2 + 2 = 5” 42.

18

Orsi“When 2 + 2 = 5” 43.

22

Interview with pastor 7 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 7 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

24

Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

25

Interview with pastor 7 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 7 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

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Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

36

Interview with pastor 20 January 2012Kampala Uganda.

37

Interview with pastor 15 February 2012Kampala Uganda.

38

Michael Lambek“Afterthought on Sacrifice,” Ethnos ahead-of-print (2013): 1–8.

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