RELIGION AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN AFRICA: A CRITICAL AND APPRECIATIVE PERSPECTIVE
AbstractReligion constitutes an inextricable part of African society. As such, political and socio-economic activities are often flavoured with religious expressions and rituals. Whilst Africans are steeped in religiosity – this is expressed in many ways – poverty and corruption are rife on the continent. The question thus arises as to whether African religiosity gives impetus to poverty and corruption on the continent or whether religion has a crucial role to play in the liberation of African societies from poverty and corruption. By using the concept of religion in relation to African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam, this article investigates the role of religion in the crisis of poverty and corruption in African society and argues that whilst religion has been instrumentalised in some instances to perpetuate poverty and corruption on the continent, it remains a crucial component of ‘Africanness’ and could contribute to moral, socio-political and economic transformation.
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