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Religion And Gender In Africa

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Chapter Summary

Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa is no less religious" than traditional" Africa is portrayed to have been. Religion remains integral to both the public world of modern politics and the private world of everyday life. Access to spiritual power continues to inform everyday religious practices and symbols, and gender relations - though influenced by religion's discursive power - continues to be mediated primarily through perceptions of reciprocity between this world and the world of the spirits. In the anthropology of women", which flourished in the 1970s, maleness and femaleness came to be understood largely in terms of a hierarchical and dichotomous relationship that was predicated on assumptions about the universal validity of Western derived gender categories. Most feminist theorists took slightly longer to acknowledge that women researchers were no less implicated than their male colleagues in the politics of location.

Keywords: gender identities; religious practice; Sub-Saharan Africa



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