This course explores inter- and intrareligious plurality in Africa south of the Sahara. Religious plurality raises both theoretical and practical challenges. On the one hand, religious plurality has a practical or empirical side that addresses how people create and organize human relations and (un)make boundaries. Moreover, it sheds light on the contested relationship between religion and secular states. On the other hand, knowledge and frames of interpretation in social anthropology and other disciplines provides us with insights into different ways religious plurality can be conceptualized and interpreted. Here, the course explores key conceptual debates on the nature of tolerance, secularism, multiple secularities and post-secular approaches as well as the role of liberalism.
Learning outcomes are to demonstrate knowledge and to critically assess important theoretical and empirical approaches to religious plurality; to get a deeper understanding of the various relations between religion and politics, economics and social life; to be able to identify processes of religious identification and the (un)making of religious boundaries; to grasp the role of respective national states in governing and regulating religious plurality through various sectors (education, human rights, health system, etc.).