Webinar: Is Africa Incurably Religious? Secularization and Discipleship in Africa

24 April 2021

Organized jointly by African Theology Worldwide and the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies

Tuesday 27th April 14.00 BST / 15.00 CET for the occasion of the book launch of

Benno van den Toren, Joseph Bosco Bangura and Richard E. Seed (eds), Is Africa Incurably Religious? Securalization and Discipleship in Africa, Oxford, Regnum, November 2020.

The contributions in the volume question the widespread thesis that Africa is ‘incurably Religious’ by studying both the presence and meaning of secularization in sub-Saharan Africa and among the African diaspora. This exercise requires sustained interest in the notion of secularization itself. It explores whether the understanding of secularization will need to be challenged and enlarged to properly detect and understand the secularization processes in this continent that is known for its religious fervour. The essays in the first part focus on Africa’s cultural and religious traditions. Though the modern term of secularization cannot be uncritically applied here, the different authors argue that there are both signs and seeds of secularization present in Africa’s traditional worldview and practices. Essays in the second part study secularization in contemporary Africa, in for example, the world of higher education and the rise of neo-Pentecostalism. It also contains regional reports from both Africa and the African Diaspora. The final section explores what the reality of secularization in its various expressions means for Christian discipleship in contemporary Africa.


"John Mbiti’s claim that Africans are “notoriously religious” has been discussed in African religious studies but has not been interrogated directly within the context of Christian discipleship and mission. … This is a timely volume that will serve theologians and missiologists well as we seek to understand some of the implications of the development of Africa as a Christian hotbed in the history of World Christianity in the 21st century."

Dr J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu. Baeta-Grau Professor of African Christianity & Pentecostal Theology and President, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Ghana

Book available here

eBook available here


• Welcome and opening – Tom Harvey

• Why this book: Can God die in Africa?– Benno van den Toren (Click here for bio)

Contributions from authors:

• What do we mean by secularization in Africa? - Henk van den Bosch

• Secularization among the urban poor in Nairobi, Kenya - Nancy Njagi and Colin Smith

• African neo-charismatic discipleship in the context of secularization - J Bosco Bangura (Click here for bio)

• Q & A Session

• Closing remarks by the Director of OCMS/Publisher of Regnum

Zoom Link

MBL Lecture

Book cover

PTHU Master of Theology



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