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Centre of African Studies: Events


Building Faith in Matters of Political Doubt in Africa: Exploring religious trust and its contestations

Building Faith in Matters of Political Doubt in Africa: Exploring religious trust and its contestations
Hosted by: Gerhard Anders # University of Edinburgh; Hosted by: Rijk van Dijk # ASCL; Hosted by: Mayke Kaag # ASCL; Hosted by: José María Muñoz # University of Edinburgh
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Date and Time
11th Jun 2019 09:00 - 11th Jun 2019 16:00
Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, teaching room 04

The Leiden-Edinburgh Research Group (LERG) ‘Questions of trust and accountability: Moralising discourses across the secular-religious divide’ convenes its first workshop in Edinburgh on 11 June 2019. 

Acknowledging that trust and accountability are never fully achieved as they are constantly negotiated and contested, invoked and promoted, demanded or betrayed, this LERG is premised on the notion that they can never be taken for granted in social relationships and public debate. Trust has to be gained and accountability has to be ensured. In Africa, both trust and accountability feature prominently in discourses about government and governance, the public sphere, policymaking and decision-making. Trust and accountability are not limited to secular domains of policymaking and governance. They are central to religious discourses too, and often employed to give meaning to relationships among the faithful as well as to their relationship with god and society.

The Leiden-Edinburgh Research Group on Questions of Trust and Accountability aims at examining declarations of trust and accountability as well as charges of distrust and irresponsibility in both secular and religious moralising normative discourses. Specifically, the group is interested in studying how secular notions seep into religious domains and how religious ideas animate secular discourses. 

It is in this perspective that the first LERG-workshop addresses the theme of “Building Faith in Matters of Political Doubt in Africa; Exploring religious trust and its contestations”. Through exploring this theme we are interested in enhancing our understanding of how in politically volatile situations religious bodies, practices and leaders are presenting themselves, or are seen or challenged, as the producers of trust and confidence. What is it they do, how is trust manufactured/engineered religiously? How is this production of religious trust challenged and critiqued by the ones who are not convinced or converted? 

LERG-Workshop programme 11 June 2019

Building Faith in Matters of Political Doubt in Africa: exploring religious trust and its contestations

Venue: Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, teaching room 04

09:00 Opening/welcome/introduction 

09:15-10:15     Henni Alava (University of Jyväskylä);

From Trust to Confusion: Unpacking Religious Leadership Transitions gone Sour (Uganda)

10:15-11:15     Mayke Kaag (ASC, Leiden); 

Reflections on Trust and Trust-making in the Work of Islamic Charities from the Gulf Region in Africa

11:15-12:15     Emmanuel Oluwole Oni (CAS, Edinburgh) 

The Promotion of Accountability in Nigeria: Exploring the Role of Religious Non-Governmental Organisations


Lunch break


13:00-14:00     Rijk van Dijk (ASC, Leiden)

Pentecostalism and the Faith in the Nation-State in Botswana: The Case of Marital Counseling. 

14:00-15:00     Mara Leichtman (Muslim Studies Program, Michigan State University): 

NGO-ization as Legitimization: Strategic Dualism and the Expansion of a Shi‘i Islamic Organization Within and Beyond Senegal

15:00-16:00     Simeon Koroma (CAS, Edinburgh):

Questions of Trust and Faith: A study of oath-taking in Local Community Court Barrays and the State Courts in Freetown

Grad School