Contesting the Local in the Global: African Christianities Within the Global Religious Cosmos


Thursday, February 27, 2020, 5:30pm to 7:00pm


Center for the Study of World Religions Common Room (CSWR) 42 Francis Ave.
Description: The global stature of African Christianities is indicative of contemporary shifts in the center of gravity of Christianity from the northern to the southern hemisphere. The story of African Christianities is one of ‘a faith in motion’ where sub-Saharan Africa and the African diaspora serve as significant theaters for the dramatization of Christianity, especially in the twentieth century. This lecture interrogates how and to what extent their demographic mobility, (un)civic role and public visibility in Africa and the African diaspora have shot them into global religious maps of the universe. Drawing from recent ethnography, I shall explore how African Christian communities, as strategic actors and benefactors in Africa and its diaspora, are involved in processes of religious, social, and cultural capital engineering, while confronting barriers to development and civic engagement. Bio: Afe Adogame, the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Religion and Society at Princeton Theological Seminary, is a leading scholar of the African diaspora. He earned a PhD in history of religions from University of Bayreuth, Germany and has served as associate professor of World Christianity and Religious Studies, and Director International at School of Divinity, New College, at The University of Edinburgh, UK. He is currently Professor Extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. His teaching and research interests are broad, but tend to focus on interrogating new dynamics of religious experiences and expressions in Africa and the African diaspora, with a particular focus on African christianities and new indigenous religious movements; the interconnectedness between religion and migration, globalization, politics, economy, media and the civil society.