Politics of Religious Schooling: Christian and Muslim Engagements with Education in Africa


In: Journal of Religion in Africa
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In recent decades, religiously motivated schools have gained a new social and political presence and significance in many African countries. Although religious networks and organizations—Christian as well as Muslim—have played a central role in providing education in colonial and postcolonial settings, liberalization and privatization measures since the 1980s have opened up new opportunities for religious engagement at all educational levels. The contributions to this issue explore the implications of these recent transformations on Christian and Muslim investments in the educational domain. To do so, they examine these implications in view of reconfigurations of national and regional educational fields under the influence of colonial and postcolonial administrations. Furthermore, they address the multiple, often-contested meanings, practices, and institutional setups that have shaped and been constituted by, the field of ‘religious schooling’ in the context of both neoliberal reform measures and transnational religious renewal trends. Finally, they illustrate the need to adopt an increasingly comparative perspective in the analysis of religious education, and to understand how (internally differentiated) instances of Christian and Muslim education have developed historically in relation to each other.

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