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On How To Be or Not To Be: Theoretical Reflection On Religion and Identity in Africa

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In introducing this issue on 'Religion and Identity in Africa' the debates regarding African identity in religion here is placed within a wider theoretical framework of social constructivist theories of religion. Within the ambit of these social approaches to religion, it is argued that issues of identity and religion are essentially issues of mythmaking and social formation with a view to satisfying social interests. However, describing religion and explaining identity formation are not innocent scholarly activities, embedded as they are in the politics of conceptual manipulation and the rhetoric of identity creation. In light of this it can be argued that the contributions assembled in this issue represent both descriptions of processes, and appeals to or indicators towards the development of an African identity in conceptualising religion in the African context.

Affiliations: 1: Department of New Testament University of South Africa P O Box 392, Pretoria, 0003 Republic of South Africa


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