Special Issue Editors:

Dr. Kevin Muriithi Ndereba Head of Department, Practical Theology, St. Paul’s University

Prof. Kyama Mugambi Assistant Professor, World Christianity, Yale Divinity School

About the Special Issue

The African Theological Journal for Church and Society (ATJCS) is calling for papers under the above theme. ATJCS is a scholarly journal publishing in any applicable theological discipline, focusing on the church and its role in societies within the African context. ATJCS is a peer reviewed, open access, electronic journal hosted on the NetACT internet portal. This call follows a successful research workshop on Politics and Religion in the Public Square co-hosted by the Department of History, Mission, Religion and Practical Theology of St. Paul’s University and the Yale Macmillan Center’s Project on Religious Freedom and Society in Africa on 21st October 2023. We are looking to stimulate further conversations on the complex relationship between religion and politics within African societies from a variety of perspectives. We especially welcome early-career scholars to submit.

The role of religion in African countries has creatively navigated colonial legacies, as well as the push for democratic reforms in the recent decades. In our contemporary times, religion is often blurred with politics, with attendant consequences. This theme investigates the positive and negative consequences of the interrelationships between religion and politics, exploring how they are engendered within religious communities and within the political arena (Parsitau 2017). For instance, the phenomenon of new religious movements in African cities has both religious and political dimensions – as unique movements of mainline religious traditions or as social and spiritual innovations within failing economic and welfare systems in the diaspora (Adogame 2016:3). Media representations of politics and religions also play a critical role in the discussion. Political interventions such as government restrictions have played a contested role in the legal registration of religious organizations in the past decades in countries such as Rwanda and Kenya. Violent extremism (VE) has its epicenter in the African continent with “almost half of all terrorism-related deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than one-third in just four countries: Somalia, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali” (UNDP 2023). To respond to these tense socio-political contexts, a coordinated response between governmental organs, civic societies, church and para-church organizations is required. To respond to this call, we invite papers for the above special issue from biblical scholars, theologians, legal scholars, philosophers, religious scholars, sociologists, anthropologists, political analysts, among others.

References

Adogame, A. ed., 2016. The Public Face of African New Religious Movements in Diaspora: Imagining the Religious ‘Other’. New York, NY: Routledge.

Parsitau, D.S. 2017. Taming Rogue Clergy and Churches: God, Scandals, Government and Religious Regulation in Kenya. In Green M.C., Hackett R.I.J., Hansen L. & Venter F., Religious Pluralism, Heritage and Social Development in Africa, pp. 241-257. Cape Town: Sun MEDIA.

UNDP. 2023. Journey to Extremism in Africa: Pathways to Recruitment and Disengagement. https://journey-to-extremism.undp.org

Possible Topics/Themes

  • Biblical or Theological Perspectives on Law and Religion
  • Political Participation among Religious Groups
  • Voting Patterns among Religious Communities
  • The Nexus of Politics, Religion and Violent Extremism
  • The Separation of Church and State
  • Religious Freedom in the Constitution
  • Government Restrictions of Religious Groups
  • Political Theology in the African Context
  • The Role of the Church in Political Reforms
  • Religion and Civil Society Advocacy
  • Ethical Leadership in Politics and Religion
  • Interreligious Dialogue in the Political Arena
  • Law and Religion in the (Pre/Post) Colonial Eras.

Editorial Guidelines

  • Manuscripts should use 12-point, single spaced font and should be between 6,000 to 8,000 words and the citation style should be HARVARD. More details can be found here: https://atjcs.netact.org.za/index.php/netact/about/submissions
  • Include a line in the article saying Submission for the Special Issue: Politics and Religion
  • Papers that do not follow the editorial guidelines will not be considered.

Submission Method

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submission is 31st March 2024.

For more information on the call for papers contact Dr. Kevin Muriithi Ndereba This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Prof. Kyama Mugambi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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