Bourdieu in Africa: Exploring the Dynamics of Religious Fields offers a view of religions as social games played by interested actors. Analyzing practices as strategic moves, this critical approach conceptualizes the religious field as relations of exchange and competition between experts and laity, and explores how the actors’ habitus, including religious beliefs, serve to misrecognize and thus legitimize relations of power within the religious sphere and beyond.
The authors discuss the volatile religious fields of Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and South Africa, with their variably configured tensions between African traditions, Christianity and Islam, but also consider the interrelations of religion with other social fields, with politics, economy, education and law.
Magnus Echtler, Ph.D. (2008), University of Bayreuth, has taught African Religions there since 2005. He has published on Islam and Christianity in Africa, and co-edited Alternative Voices. A Plurality Approach for Religious Studies (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2013).
Asonzeh Ukah, Ph.D. (2004), Habil. (2013), University of Bayreuth/Germany, taught at the University of Bayreuth from 2005 to 2013. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town. He has published extensive on African Pentecostalism. He is the author of A New Paradigm of Pentecostal Power: The Redeemed Christian church of God In Nigeria (Africa World Press, 2008).
Contributors are: Ulrich Berner, Chikas Danfulani, Jonathan Draper, Magnus Echtler, Gemechu Jemal Geda, Magnus Treiber, Asonzeh Ukah, Dale Wallace, Halkano Abdi Wario.
Scholars, researchers and graduate students but also anyone interested in social theory, history, anthropology and sociology of African religions (including Christianity and Islam) will find the volume useful.