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Seminar: Groningen Islamic Studies

Wanneer:vr 11-01-2013 16:00 - 17:30
Waar:Room 123, Oude Boteringestraat 38

Reshaping the political and the secular in Nigeria: Nigerian Pentecostal churches and the debate on Shari’a

Dr Kim Knibbe

( Faculty of Theology & Religious Studies )

This seminar will explore the political dimensions of a religious movement that has gained a huge following in western Africa and in other parts of the world, namely Pentecostalism, especially the last wave of Pentecostal churches often identified as neo-Pentecostal. These movements challenge conventional distinctions between the religious and the political in many ways. Furthermore, their transnational character and global aspirations create new realities that transcend the system of nation states. This paper will first describe this movement, focusing on West Africa and comparing developments there with developments elsewhere. It will then describe how these movements constitute transnational social fields and the consequences this has for geopolitics. Finally, this paper will discuss how the notion of the secular is simultaneously negated, in their constitution of subjectivities, and reinforced, especially in relation to the debate on shari’a in Nigeria.

Kim Knibbe is a Lecturer at the department for the comparative and historical study of religion at the faculty of theology and religious studies of the university of Groningen. She has worked on Nigerian Pentecostal churches in Europe, on Catholicism and on contemporary spirituality. She has a book coming out titled ‘Faith in the Familiar’ with Brill in 2013, as well as a volume edited with Anna Fedele on contemporary spirituality with Routledge december 2012 .