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Introduction: Searching for pathways in a landscape of death: Religion and aids in Africa

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Chapter Summary

Nobody would deny that religious practice is important in confronting AIDS in Africa, but the attention given to religion in the context of the AIDS crisis has maintained a fairly narrow focus. This chapter highlights some reasons why the interaction between AIDS and religious practice is important, and to point out directions for further research. Firstly, it explains use of the notion of religion and its aspects, religious practice, thought and commitment. Then it examines an apparent turn towards restrictive application of religious dogma that connects religious debates about AIDS with broader trends of religious change. The chapter discusses the interaction of religion and AIDS in the context of Africas ever-deferred hopes for progress and modernity. Lastly, the chapter gives space to the implications of the ongoing roll-out of anti-retroviral drugs.

Keywords: African religious imagination; AIDS in Africa



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