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date: 26 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at religion in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in the context over a contested “secularization” debate in contemporary societies. The chapter contends that a genuine transformation is underway in many parts of SSA following its independence from European colonial rule. However, these postcolonial advances are yet to significantly affect the belief systems of many Africans. On the contrary, in many SSA countries, there is evidence of an increasing growth in religiosity with its concomitant influence in both the private and public sphere. Also, while it cannot be denied that secular institutions are spreading throughout most of Africa, there is little evidence to suggest that salience of religion in the lives of many Africans. Compared to many parts of the world, religion has yet to move into the private sphere in Africa, and people have not become less religious or less vocal in the public domain.

Keywords: Africa, Christianity, African religion, secularism, democracy, church and state

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