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Religion, spirituality and the social sciencesChallenging marginalisation$
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Basia Spalek and Alia Imtoual

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420411

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420411.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Studying religion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Studying religion in Sub-Saharan Africa

(p.79) Six Studying religion in Sub-Saharan Africa
Religion, spirituality and the social sciences

Maria Frahm-Arp

Policy Press

In Sub-Saharan Africa, changes in the high rate of HIV/AIDS infection, economic instability, unemployment, and religion were spurred by the rise of African independent churches to the current popularity of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity and Catholicism. To be able to understand these, it is necessary to consider the religious world-view and the place of religion within the socio-political shifts in this area. This chapter, hence, uses religion as a social variable in order to gauge and understand why people act collectively. It examines some of the salient issues featured in the early sociological study of religion and shows how these have influenced the way that religion has been studied in Africa. It also examines the way in which contemporary Christianity and African religions have been studied and proposes ways to include religious variables in the broader study of societies in postcolonial Africa.

Keywords:   Sub-Saharan Africa, religious world-view, independent churches, religion, Africa, contemporary Christianity, African religions

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