Political Religion: Tradition, Reform, Fundamentalism

Weiterbildungskurs (8./9. November 2019)

Since the turn of the 21st century, African societies have experienced a so-called ‘religious revival’ of political nature. New religious movements like the broad spectrum of African Independent Churches or anti-Sufi Islamic reform movements play a prominent role in African public spheres. Western mainstream media and experts often describe what we call "political religion" in Africa as fundamentalist, hence a threat to democratic and liberal order.

This course challenges prevalent explanations of religious activism in Africa. Participants will be introduced to concepts of political religion and their application to African contexts in order to develop a more nuanced, historized and actors-centered understanding of current transformations. They will engage with case studies of expanding Pentecostalism, the rise of neo-traditional priests, increasing civic engagement of Muslim associations and Muslims’ search for modern aspirations.

  • Concepts of political religion
  • Pentecostalization of the public sphere
  • Neo-traditional movements
  • Tradition and Reform in Islam
  • Aspirations of political Muslims
  • Inter-religious relations

8 November 2019, 9pm-5pm

9 November 2019, 9am-5pm


The course is awarded with 1 ECTS credit for the CAS in African Affairs (assessment required).

CHF 690 incl. course documentation; travel expenses, accommodation and meals are not included.

Additional fee for assessment (required for ECTS credits): CHF 60

Registration deadline: 19 October 2019

Koordinator Weiterbildung