CfP: 2018 Fela Anikulapo Kuti Int’l Conference on African Homelands and Social Theory (10-11th Oct)




(A 2-Day International Conference in Honour of Fela Anikulapo Kuti)

Religion-State Relationship in Postcolonial Africa: Issues, Contexts and Perspectives

DATE: 10 -11TH OCTOBER, 2018

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW: Fela Anikulapo Kuti International Conference on African Homelands and Social Theory is an annual international conference that brings together academicians and research scholars in African and Diaspora Studies and importantly researchers in the Fela phenomenon. The international conference provides the medium and opportunity to exchange ideas, share knowledge, and develop academic researches done in the gear of decolonizing knowledge in the African educational system and with the sole aim of adding values to knowledge production in its Africanity. The conference seek to promote intellectualism in its Africaness, Culture education and traditions of African homelands and the diaspora. In fulfilling this, while the international conference provides an environment for cross- fertilization of ideas to produce knowledge and new thoughts and philosophies, the conference as well accommodates political education for the decolonization of African homelands as a step to rescue the westernization of education in Africa.

The 2018 FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN HOMELANDS AND SOCIAL THEORY is planned to feature paper presentations on some selected thematic issues relating to the concept note. Participants are invited from different fields and practices including: religious studies, music, theatre and film, literary and cultural studies, political science, sociology, history, philosophy and other related areas. The paper abstract must not be more than 300 words.

Professor Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Prof. J.K Ayantayo, Prof. of Christian theology, Head, Department of Religious Studies, U.I
Prof. Anthony Akinwale, Vice- Chancellor, Dominican University, Samonda, Ibadan
Emeritus Professor Femi Osofisan, University of Ibadan.

THEMATIC ISSUES: Conference papers will cover the under listed thematic issues:
a. Religion, International political system and Africa
b. Religion, Ideology and Nationalism
c. Religion and Philosophy
d. Religion and Music in the African Context
e. Religion and Language in the African Perspective
f. Religion and Conventional Thoughts
g. Religion, Education and Law
h. Historiography of Religion within the African Context
i. Comparative Approach to Non-African and African Belief Systems
j. Religion and Emerging Gender Issues
k. Religion, Terrorism, Peace and Strategic studies
l. The Foreign in African Traditional Religions
m. Religion and Humanity in the African Context
n. Political economy of religion
o. Comparative Study on Religion, Spirituality and Culture
p. Religion and African mystery system
q. Religion and Secret societies
r. Religion, methodology and politics of knowledge production
s. Religion, Postcolonial Africanities and human development
t. Religion, Secularism and globalization
u. Religion and Environmental issues
v. Religion, Archaeology and social Anthropology
w. Religion and classical studies
Prospective paper presenters are to adhere strictly to the APA Format for writing‎ research papers.

Abstracts and full papers can be submitted by email to the Conference Convener, Olusegun Michael Ogundele at or to the official conference email address:

Publicity: 15th May, 2018
Deadline for submission: 5th August, 2018
Notification of acceptance: 19th August, 2018
Deadline for final paper submission: 5th September, 2018
Conference date: 10- 11 October, 2018

The international conference will have as part of its special features A FRENCH PANEL. This French panel is being sponsored by IFRA- NIGERIA and Alliance Francais, Ibadan. Papers to be presented at this French panel will be submitted in French Language, especially to encourage participation from African research scholars in Francophone countries. Presentation at the panel will be in French language. There is as well a possibility for a French translator to English Language so that the parallel session will not close its door against other participants in the conference.
Dr. Nicolas Michelland, Director, Alliance Francaise, Ibadan, Nigeria
Dr. Elodie Apard, Director, French Institute for Research in Africa, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
Prof. Tunde Ayeleru, Head, Department of European Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
Prof. Anthony Akinwale, Vice Chancellor, Dominican University, Samonda, Ibadan.

Conference Convener

Call for Papers: Religion/Spirituality and Wellbeing in Africa, in ALTERNATION 2019

THEME: Religion/Spirituality and Wellbeing in Africa

Internationally, numerous scholars of religion and spirituality argue that religion/spirituality has direct implications for human wellbeing. Research has shown, that the same is true with regard to Africa. Across Africa, religion/ spirituality remains a factor that influences and shapes the wellbeing of many Africans. But the role of religion in Africa has not always been constructive and clear-cut. Affirmatively, religion has contributed to the struggle against colonialism, for national independence, the fostering and support of modern democracies, and the establishing of independent nation states. Negatively, religion(s) has, at times, and in some contexts, also contributed to endorsing and perpetuating postcolonial autocratic life-denying tendencies among politicians, patrimonial autocratic and oligarchic systems, and the denial of human rights, for a wide variety of minority groups, not aligned with the hegemonic power structures. The question is whether, and how religions and religious formations in Africa have intentionally positioned themselves as forces for wellbeing, safety and security, or, for ill. How have they engaged the individual, as well as social challenges that African people face? How do they function for the continuous improvement of the quality of life and wellbeing of people? OR: if they do not function in this way, what roles do they play in society in general, but also specifically, and practically. Acknowledging that there have been some valuable research focusing on particular contexts, there is inadequate scholarly literature which specifically explores the interplay between religion spirituality and wellbeing, or its opposites.

Scholars have argued that in Africa, religion/spirituality in all its various manifestations is a seminal, ingrained, aspect of life, identity construction, social practice and reality construction and interpretation. They argue that religion/spirituality should not be regarded as separate from the totality of human life in Africa. For all intents and purposes, it saturates the lives and cultures of African people. Concomitantly, religion/spirituality and its related practices, are perceived as a social and humanistic resource for African cultural, moral-ethical, political and economic functioning, but also development and advancement. This perception of religion/spirituality, is usually endorsed by views from John Mbiti, who, in his African Religions and Philosophy (1969) described Africans as “notoriously religious”; Fabien Boulaga (1984), who embedded all of African life – “self-transcendence, nature, earth, sex, anything that moves” – in religion; Stephen Ellis and Gerrie ter Haar (2004), who argued that “it is largely through religious ideas that Africans think about the world today, and that religious ideas provide them with a means of becoming social and political actors”; and, more recently, Trinitapoli and Weinreb (2012), that Africa is “the world’s most religious continent”. This form of the essentializing, if not erroneous idealisation, of the importance of religion/ spirituality, or of a broad-based religious world view, for Africans, is obviously contentious.
Given the myriad of challenges and struggles Africans face on a daily basis in all spheres of life, in all the sociocultural, -political, and -economic dimensions, and societal levels of a rapidly – if also very unequally – modernising continent, we need to move beyond the simplistic and idealistic understandings of the significance of religion/ spirituality in Africa.
Moreover, the scholarly homogenising assumptions, common generalisations, and generic intellectual simplifications about African life and culture, not only obfuscate and befuddle very complex issues, as these differ from context to context, and country to country. They al-so mask a lack of the equal recognition of the wide diversity of people, as well as religions and spiritualities on the continent, and their fluid functioning, and impacts.
Against the background of these primary misconceptions, African social life should rather be fully recognised and studied with regard to its complexities, its fluid and experimental practices, and the inherent, and often tacit contestations of power and privilege, as these are present in its numerous sociocultural contradictions embedded in the articulations of the person and community; religion and the secular; health and disease; and democracy and undemocratic hegemony; as these grow, and at times collide. This means there is a need to ask about Africa’s experiential questions. In this context, it is important to better delineate the significance of religion and spirituality for African life and culture, and if not, how this is the case. Finally, can one distinguish between the nature and impact of religion and spirituality that add to the wellbeing of people, in specific contexts, and that which is to their disadvantage, and detriment. And, what do African people regard as the religion or spirituality that serve them and their wellbeing, and what not.

Amongst others, this Special Issue of Alternation seeks to clarify these key issues, as briefly outlined above, with a primary focus on the ways in which religion/spirituality contribute to wellbeing as understood by Africans themselves in various contexts – local, national and continental or, cosmically/environmentally. By explicating the concepts and researching the nuances of the wide variety of relationships between religion/ spirituality and wellbeing in Africa, from indigenous African perspectives, this issue will hopefully add to our discourse and knowledge production in this very important interdisciplinary area. It is also hoped that it will open up more possibilities and directions for future research, and research-led teaching and learning.

Proposed Themes Alphabetically Organized
Religion/Spirituality, the Ancestors and Wellbeing
Religion/Spirituality and Children
Religion/Spirituality, Conflict and Peacebuilding
Religion/Spirituality Consumerism and Materialism
Religion/Spirituality, Corruption and Politics
Religion/Spirituality, Death and Dying
Religion/Spirituality, Democratisation, Autocracy and Patrimonialism
Religion/Spirituality, Dialogue, Meaning, Identity, and Integration
Religion/Spirituality and Economics (Capitalism)
Religion/Spirituality and Employment
Religion/Spirituality and/ in Education
Religion/Spirituality and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Religion/Spirituality and Health Systems
Religion/Spirituality, Human Dignity and the Integrity of Creation
Religion/Spirituality, HIV Testing and Condoms
Religion/Spirituality, the Holy Spirit and Wellbeing
Religion/Spirituality and Masculinities
Religion/Spirituality and Marriage (e.g. abortion, childlessness/barrenness, pregnancy and birth)
Religion/Spirituality, Moya and Wellbeing
Religion/Spirituality and Natural Disasters (e.g. drought, famine, earthquake, etc.)
Religion/Spirituality and Old Age
Religion/Spirituality and Public Policy
Religion/Spirituality and Poverty
Religion/Spirituality, Public Health and Epidemics (e.g. HIV and AIDS, ebola, malaria, cholera)
Religion/Spirituality, Sexuality and Gender
Religion/Spirituality and Squatter Camp Life
Religion/Spirituality and Urban Life
Religion/Spirituality and Village Life
Religion/Spirituality and Wealth Creation
Religion/Spirituality and Youth

Academic Research in Religion/Spirituality/Theology and Policy Intervention

Research Grants and the Study of Religion/Spirituality/Theology (How are research grants in-forming the study of religions/spirituality and theology in Africa, and how could they ad-vance such research?)


Title and Abstract Friday 01 June 2018
Article Submission Friday 31 August 2018
Review Feedback Friday 14 September 2018
Final article Friday 12 October 2018
Final Editing Friday 11 January 2019
Submission to Press Friday 11 January 2019

Please submit the proposed titles of your articles, as well as a brief abstract of about 150 words, to the guest editors: Dr. Chammah J. Kaunda ( and Prof Roderick Hewitt ( Please do so by 01 June 2018.

Please use the Alternation Guidelines for Contributors, and style format for submissions. Cf. below, and Guidelines for Contributors at:

We request the submission of full articles, for the review process, by 31 August 2018.

Alternation is a fully accredited, peer-reviewed South African Department of Higher Education and Training journal. It is edited by Prof J.A. Smit, former Dean and Head of School, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, and published at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, on an Open Access platform. All articles are subject to peer-review by at least two independent peer reviewers. All articles that pass the review process, and that are accepted for publication, will be published online, at:
The Alternation homepage is available at:

Eboussi Boulaga, F. 1984. Christianity without Fetishes: An African Critique and Recapture of Christianity. Barr, R.r. (trans.). Maryknoll: Orbis Books.
Ellis, S. & G. ter Haar. 2004. Worlds of Power: Religious Thought and Political Practice in Africa. London: C. Hurst and Co.
Mbiti, J. 1969. African Religions and Philosophy. London, Ibadan, Nairobi: Heinemann.
Trinitapoli, J. & A. Weinreb 2012. Religion and AIDS in Africa. New York: Oxford University Press.

Guidelines for Contributors, and Alternation Style

Manuscripts must be submitted in English (UK). If quotations from other languages appear in the manuscript, place the original in a footnote and a dynamic-equivalent translation in the body of the text or both in the text.

Contributors must submit one computer-generated copy of the manuscript to the editor(s). The computer-generated copy must be in Word for Windows, and must have an Abstract and Keywords. It must also be submitted in the Alternation style.

Manuscripts should range between 5000-10000 and book reviews between 800-1200 words. How¬ever, longer articles may be considered for publication.

Attach a cover page containing the following information: The corresponding author’s full name, address, e-mail address, position, department, university/ institution, and telephone/ fax numbers. A brief summary of the biodate of all authors must be attached too.

Maps, diagrams and posters must be presented in print-ready form. Clear black and white or colour digitised photos (postcard size) or diagrams in pdf or jpeg may also be submitted.

Use footnotes sparingly. In order to enhance the value of the interaction between notes and text, we use footnotes and not endnotes.

Authors may use their own numbering systems in the manuscript.

Except for bibliographical references, abbreviations must include full-stops. The abbreviations (e.a.) = ’emphasis added’; (e.i.o.) = ’emphasis in original’; (i.a.) or […] = ‘insertion added’ may be used.

The full bibliographical details of sources are provided only once at the end of the manuscript under References. References in the body of the manuscript should follow the following convention: Mkhize (2017:14) argues …. or, at the end of a reference/quotation: …. (Ngwenya 2017:20f).

The surname and initials of authors as they appear in the source must be used in the References section.

Review articles and book reviews must include a title as well as the following information concerning the book reviewed: title, author, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, number of pages and the ISBN number.

In the text as well as the References, all book, journal, newspaper and magazine titles must be in italics.

The format for the References section is as follows:

Journal article by one author
Fulela, B. 2008. Checking the Post: Derrida and the Apartheid Debate. Alternation 15,2: 11 – 37. Available at: (Accessed on 08 May 2017.)

Journal article by two authors
Mkhize, N. & N. Ndimande-Hlongwa 2014. African Languages, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), and the Transformation of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Higher Education. Alternation 21,2: 10 – 37. Available at: (Accessed on 08 May 2017.)

Book by one author
Moran, S. 2009. Representing Bushmen: South Africa and the Origin of Language. Rochester: University of Rochester Press. (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, Book 38.)

Book by one editor
Smit, J.A. (ed.) 1999. Body, Identity, Sub-cultures and Repression in Texts from Africa. Durban: CSSALL.

Book by two editors
Dhunpath, R. & R. Vithal (eds.) 2012. Alternative Access to Higher Education: Underprepared Students or Underprepared Institutions? Cape Town: Pearson Publishers.

Chapter in an edited book
Smit, J.A. & J. van Wyk 2001. Literary Studies in Post-apartheid South Africa. In Zegeye, A. & R. Kriger (eds.): Culture in the New South Africa after Apartheid. Volume 2. Cape Town: Kwela Books & History on Line.

Translated book
Foucault, M. 1977. Discipline and Punish. Sheridan, A. (trans.). New York: Pantheon.

Online resource
Jansen, J. & P. Vale (Co-chairs.) 2011. Consensus Study on the State of the Humanities in South Africa. Status, Prospects and Strategies. Pretoria: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Available at: (Accessed on 08 May 2017.)

CfP for Panel 182: The Religion of the Orishas, 18th IUAES World Congress, 16-20 July, Florianopolis, Brazil


Between January 8th and February 28th 2018, the registered participants will be able to submit their paper proposal to the 18th IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnographic Sciences) World Congress at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil, and in particular to Open Panel 182: The Religions of the Orishas

The panel is on the religions of the orishas in various contexts – diasporas and re(creation) of African heritage in the sacred space
This panel discusses various links, forms and faces of the African origin religions in the contemporary world. We would like to invite scholars doing their research on the religions of the orixás (orishas) in their different dimensions, such as: ritual, cultural and symbolic production (music, body and dance);function of technology; (re)creation of social relations and connections; relations between religion and gender, sexuality, public policies, context of production of the heritages, intolerances, migration processes and religious transnationalization.

Open pannel number 182 is coordinated by Prof Dr Joana Bahia (State University of Rio de Janeiro) < > and Prof Dr Renata Siuda-Ambroziak (Universidade de Varsóvia/Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina) < >

Informations about registrations see : and also

Call for online submission of articles to Alternation


Johannes Andreas Smit, editor of the online open access journal Alternation: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa, invites submission of articles in the area Religion and Social Transformation in Africa, or on Religion and Social Responsibility in Africa. He shall also consider submissions in important topical issues such Gender, Ecology/Environment, Religion and/ in Education, IT/Social Media and Religion in Africa, and other relevant and topical issues

In March 2018, Alternation will start using the OJS online managing system. Articles may be submitted for publication in Alternation by first registering as author or reviewer (or reader) at ) at Then, to submit an article, click,, then click LOGIN, enter Username and Password, and click the Login button. Then click Author, and follow the steps.

Alternation, founded in 1994, is a peer reviewed journal, approved by our South African Department of Higher Education and Training, in 1996. Its archive is available at

Of special interest to scholars of religions in Africa and elsewhere  are:
Alternation Special Edition No 2 (2005) The Study of Religion in Southern Africa: Essays in Honour of G.C. Oosthuizen

Alternation Special Edition No. 3 (2009) Religion and Diversity

Alternation Special Edition No 10 (2013) Research in Religion and Education

Alternation Special Edition No 11 (2013) Research in Religion and Society

Alternation Special Edition No 14 (2015) Empire Religions, Theologies, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Alternation 23,2 (2016) HIV, AIDS, Sex and Sexualities in Africa

and to appear soon: Alternation Special edition 19 (2017) on Religion and Social Responsibility with contributions by authors from Kenya (1), Zambia (2) and Zimbabwe (2).



International, Interdisciplinary Conference


Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF) Brazil. 22-25 October 2018


The historical encounter of the African continent with the Arab and transatlantic slave trade, colonial/imperial histories and influences, was mostly characterized by exploitation and expropriation, dehumanization and human rights violations, but also the destruction of indigenous religions, cultural patterns, sacred sites and objects. European/Arab cultural imprints are also seen in the introduction of Christianity and Islam. This encounter has led, on the one hand, to the denigration of indigenous religions, resulting in the banning or abandonment of aspects of their cosmologies, ritual symbolism and practices. On the other hand, indigenous religions responded to social change leading to mutual influence, and revitalization of aspects of the indigenous religious cultures.

The significance of indigenous African religions and spirituality is partly demonstrated in their plurality in Africa and its diaspora historically and culturally. Migration, tourism and new media technologies has facilitated the introduction of African religions into new geo-cultural contexts. For instance, in Brazil, Candomblé and Umbanda have remained resilient in the face of racism, public criminalization; just as majority of Afro-Brazilians continue to encounter injustice and socio-political marginalization. Despite threats of survival and extinction, Africans and their descendants strive to preserve their cultural heritage and religious identity.

African and African-derived religions have continued to impact other societies and world religions, while they have been influenced by them as well. Brazil is home to the largest Black population (African diaspora) in the world, besides Nigeria. Brazil’s recent demographics show African-Brazilians in the majority for the first time, with 2010 census showing over 50.7% black/mixed race, compared to 47.7% white population (IBGE). Brazil is home to Candomblé and Umbanda, two of the largest African-derived religions. Brazilian Portuguese was richly influenced by people of African descent and their languages, even as a new Afro-Brazilian vocabulary emerged. Candomblé rituals have been incorporated into the fabric of Brazilian national identity from New Year’s Eve offerings to the ocean (Revellion), Capoeira dance, Samba (rodas) and culinary preferences such as Acarajé fritters. In Umbanda, there is a loose affinity of Roman Catholic saints with African and indigenous deities. Indigenous religions and African-derived religions have also shaped world art, sculpture, painting and other cultural artifacts, which populate the world’s famous museums, galleries, libraries, and art exhibitions. The commodification of African music, art and religious objects is on the increase. The character of indigenous and African-derived religions in conditions of globality will continue to be shaped by how and to what extent they negotiate continuity, identity, and change.

The resilience and dynamism of religions of Africa and its diaspora requires more scholarly attention in exploring how they are central to everyday lives of Africans and its descendants. A proper grasp of their complex religious cosmologies, traditions and cultures will improve understanding of African peoples and its descendants in conditions of globality. To what extent do religious worldviews and practices remain relevant for Africans and their descendants in the face of negative public perception? How can we synthesize indigenous belief systems and rituals into a reference and source book? What makes African indigenous and derived religions tick against the backdrop of xenophobia, socioeconomic deprivation? How and to what extent has African indigenous and derived religions shaped the local contexts, cultures and societies within which they are practiced; and how were they influenced by other religions and cultures globally? How do indigenous religions and African-derived religions respond to global issues of poverty, corruption, conflict, peace, religious freedom and climate change? The 2nd Global African Indigenous and Derived Religions Conference will seek to address these and related questions and issues, and will provide a significant platform for scholars, practitioners of African Indigenous Religions and African-derived religions, policy makers, diaspora community groups, NGOs and FBOs and interested publics to critically appraise the status, nature and role of global African Indigenous and Derived Religions within local-global religious landscapes. The Conference will explore varied approaches to the study of Africa’s Indigenous Religions with emphasis on regional and diasporic focus. It will discuss the inherent challenges faced by students and scholars in studying indigenous and African-derived religions globally. The conference also seeks to encourage scholarly research and explore avenues for the documentation and preservation of African indigenous and derived religions.

Conference sub-themes include:
Defining Indigenous Religions and African-derived religions
Indigeneity, tradition and authenticity
Indigenous knowledge systems and Indigenous methodologies
Racial politics, human rights and social justice
Indigene-ship, Citizenship and Land Rights
Identity construction and negotiation
African philosophy, worldviews, belief systems, rituals, festivals and ceremonies
Ritual studies; social organisation of African indigenous and derived religions
Media, Aesthetics and Material culture
Religious leadership, good governance and corruption
Gender and Power
Women and Youth
Diaspora formation
Poverty and sustainable development
African Indigenous/Derived religions and Political Economy
African Indigenous/Derived religions and Social Impact
NGOs, FBOs and Civil Society
Sources and Documentation of Global African Indigenous Religions
Indigenous peoples and environmental management
African indigenous religions, African derived religions, globalization and modernity

Paper/Panel abstract proposals; and Participation only form should be submitted via the conference website: All additional inquiries should be sent to the conference email:
Paper/Panel Proposal Deadline: Extended until April 30, 2018

Proposals should include: name, institutional affiliation and status, email address, contact phone, paper/panel title and abstract (250 words)

Notification of successful proposals will be made by May 30, 2018.

Conference Registration: early-bird registration begins on June 1 and ends on June 30, 2018. A late fee will be charged thereafter.

Conference fees: to be announced soon

§ Accommodation: University Hostels and Guest Houses will be negotiated at group rates for the duration of the conference. Bookings will be made online, via conference website:
§Limited travel subsidies may be available for participants from the Global South with accepted paper/panel proposals.
Conference host institution: Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil

Conveners: Afe Adogame, Raimundo Barreto (Princeton, NJ. USA); Jimmy Cabral (UFJF, Brazil) & Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group