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In particular it fills a gap in the scholarly literature on the involvement of religion in recent Kenyan political history. The volume stands alone in offering a systematic analysis of the role of the Christian churches in politics in Kenya and especially that of the Anglican Archbishop, David Gitari, who from the pulpit and through the media spoke out systematically, with consistency, and without fear or favour against bad and corrupt governement.

This is an enormously interesting and relevant study by scholars of the highest calibre of the religious dimension to modern Kenyan politics and should prompt those who specalize in politics in Africa as a whole to look more attentively and with greater seriousness than is usually the case at the significance of the religious factor in the political processes of the continent. Learn More About Classify. Enter ISBNs with our without hyphens. Title: Author:. Displaying 1 to 25 of David M.

New to Classification? Comment on the Classify Project. Troubled but not destroyed : autobiography of Dr. Contemporary issues facing the urban Christian today : a pastoral perspective LCC.

Encounter : an Anglican forum for theological reflection LCC. Public policy dialogue for socially-inclusive public policy making processes in Kenya : the role of the Anglican church of Kenya : a thesis submitted to Auckland University of Technology in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy PhD , by Ayallo, Irene Akinyi DDC. Fredrick LCC. Nyimbo standard DDC. However, in practice it is not always possible to separate the inte rnal dynamics from the external, so my case studies do incorporate discussions of external social and political engagements. For example, in my discussion of Mavuno Church painting a police station or refurbishing a prison, I contend these are activities o f political engagement initiated by particular theological perspectives.

A majority of the field work was focused on case studies oriented around RPDE.

In order to complete the other end of the continuum, I utilize existing scholarly sources as well as a portion of my field data to elaborate on RPDD. Evidence better explaining RPDD is found at the end of Chapter 3 Chapters 4 through 6 develop and support my primary arguments on RPDE and rely upon data gathered over a thirteen month period of being embedded in the activities of Sunday servi ces, church staff meetings, weekly home groups social outreach events, and theological schools Scholarly Context Broadly speaking this study explores the internal political role of churches in order to determin e how they influence Kenyan politics 11 The study pays particular attention to the fact that in the African context, religion and politics "are parts of the same terrain [ where ] power flows between the visible material world and invisible 11 There are f our areas of research in Africa that gi ve important context to this study: 1 religion and politics in Kenya; 2 religion and politics in Africa; 3 religion in Af rica; and 4 politics in Africa.

In the process of highlighting studies that advanced my own understandings, this study demonstrates where most scholarship has focused and how their institutional focus overlooks important internal dynamics related to churc h structure, leadership, and congregational practices. PAGE 23 23 spiritual world" a nd "the political kingdom contains a politically significant spiritual terrain" Schatzberg : This more public and externa l focus addresses the competition, conflict, cooperation, and change within church state dynamics Choge ; Gecaga ; Gitari ; Gitari and Knighton ; Kavulla ; Knighton ; Lonsdale et al.

Throup examined the politics of Kenyan church state conflict between and and argued that in the mid 80s the ruling Kenya African National Union KANU increasingly marginalized clergy who over stepped a government imposed boundary for debating social and political issues. Sabar , focused on the Kenyan Anglican Church and extensively researched the political role the Anglicans played between and Her project showed how the average Kenyan sought solace within the Anglican Church comm unities, particularly when political authoritarianism curtailed active avenues of protest, but also how the Anglican clergy leveraged the church's social services in health and education to gain an important voice in the political realm.

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More recently, Joh n Karanja explored Kenyan Evangelicals' polarized attitudes toward democracy. His in depth study of the socio theological characteristics of evangelical institutions led to the development of three useful typologies of political theology: activist i nstitutions that have criticized the state; loyalist institutions that remain allied with the state; and finally apolitical institutions that remain aloof from state politics.

Two scholars who do look more critically at the internal nature of churches incl ude Paul Gifford and Gregory Deacon.


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As I developed my continuum of religious pedagogies of political empowerment, they both contributed important insight, especially to the concept of Religious Pedagogies of Democratic Disempowerment RPDD. PAGE 24 24 Like much of the literature in Kenya, scholarship that looks more broadly at religion and politics across Africa is primarily historical, descriptive, or normative in nature and agai n often centers on the external actions of the church and does not typically attempt to understand religious influence at the personal and practical levels 14 Addressing r eligion beyond Africa in fluential scholars have contributed their understandings and different elements of their theories still hold sway among certain schools of thought.

Scholars then building on Freud's ideas suggested that strong religious beliefs lead to greater authoritarian politica l systems.


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It also makes social order sacred and the profane is incorporated into sacred obligations, supported by the divine. Marx, like Durkheim, viewed religion as an agent of legitimation, but arrives at this conclusion from a materialistic perspective. Weber brings a different perspective, in that he examines religion from a substantive approach versus the more functional approach of other schol ars like Durkheim. Over forty years ago, Geertz claimed the study of religion stagnated, with no theoretical contributions made 8 9 , but today the relevance of understanding religion and politics is only growing, and subsequently spawning new scholarship connecting religion to all subfields of political science.

Its relevance to the field of comparative politics is of particular imp ortance due to the highly religious nature of non Western cultures. All major religions contain elements of virtue and ethics, but how is the religiou s realm manifested in the political realm? Religious systems are simultaneously constructed of s ymbols, ri tuals, beliefs and practices that guide the govern ment of the individual soul and public theologies informing how society should be governed. Place these symbols, beliefs, and practices in the social learning ecosystem of religious institutions and you cr eate space for political socialization but is it a space marked by democratic values or more authoritarian ones?

While scholarship on religion and politics in Kenya and across Africa are important, they for the most part do not focus on the fact that each Sunday, numerous citizens sit in these social learning environments and exposed to religious messages and forms of church governance, authority, and leadership that play important political socialization functions. Their work is explored more in Chapter 3. PAGE 26 26 rallies, or with their po litical beliefs 17 What is not explored well in the literature on Kenya is how and to what degree this synthesis occurs.

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So while p olitical science traditionally focus es on studying the public and external elements of government a complementary focus on studying the religious factors that inform and guide the personal and i nternal government of individuals can inform a better understanding of the symbiotic relationship between religion and politics, churc h and state, citizen and leader, and democracy and authoritarianism.

W hy Kenya? Kenya has had over a century of contentiou s relationship s between religion and politics with church state relations ebbing and flowing between opposition and support. T o demonstrate this history, I provide the following brief synopsis. The resilience of what appears to be a house of cards may be admired for its own intricacies and subtle forms of stabil ity.

Religion is occasionally mentioned as being a significant element of the social fabric in African societies, and if referred to, churches are cited as important civil society institutions. This limited discussion of religion overlooks the important w ays political belief and behavior is molded within the confines of churches. Several scholars are beginning to examine the behavioral aspects of the electorate Basedau, Erdmann and Mehler ; Lindberg ; Lindberg and Morrison ; and Wantchekon 3 , but again religion is not their primary focus.

PAGE 27 27 foreign political and religious systems into a region previously organized along tribal lines practicing traditional religions. In the decades prior to the Mau Mau R ebellion 18 of the s, Kenyans reasserted their traditional religious practices, resulting in numerous independent churches breaking off from more mainline denominations.

Colonial officials were particularly concerned with the oathing requirements among those sup porting the Mau Mau movement During the independence movement, many churches remained on the sideline s and shortly after focused on consolidating their power under new African leaders. In the late s and early 90s, several prominent clerics were advoc ating for multi party politics and pushing Moi's government to be more democratic. In the election, Moi's KANU party lost to a coalition led by Mwai Kibaki T he Kibaki led constitutional referendum in was then embarrassingly defeated by opposition parties who had successfully rallied the support of most churches across Kenya.

In the months leading to the December elections, churches were already divided along ethnic lines. When election results were delayed and a sudden influx of votes for Kibaki added in the last hours, the supporter s of opposition candidate Raila Odinga clashed with Kibaki's. Within weeks Kenya imploded. Over 1, were killed, and over 4 00, displaced.

Churches and Political Conflicts in Africa: From Captivity to Redemptive Social Action

Centered in the highlands, a region dominated by Kikuyus, the rebellion started when white settlers were attacked, resulting i n an eventual state of emergency declared by the British colonial officials. While white settlers were victims, a disproportionate number of Kenyans were detained, imprisoned, killed, or simply went missing. There remains a debate as to which was more influential, internal pressure from vocal critics, including a few clerics or external pressure from Western governments.

In reality it was a combination of both PAGE 28 28 churches were horrified that ethnicity still dominated their thinking. A few churches rallied to provide reli ef supplies, temporary shelter, and reconciliation programs others remain ed in stunned disbelief In Kenya successfully adopted a new constitution, but churches were once again divided in their support. Fortunately the elections were peaceful, w ith contentious church state relations ebbing 20 This short historical over view demonstrates numerous layers of contention, and with Kenya's present situation an ongoing reconciliation with the past, it is important to understand religion and politics at a deeper level, but even more imperative is to approach this study from an emic perspective, thus giving precedence to local views and perspectives As I mentioned early, the scholarly literature on the religion and politics of Kenya tends to come in three forms historical, normative or ins titutional.


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  4. Exceptions existed, but my scholarly review did reveal a gap in understanding the internal and private aspects of religion and its political role in Kenya As a regional hub in East Africa Kenya also serves as a central gateway to the region and projects influence beyond the country's borders.

    Knowing more about the intersection of religion in politics in Kenya can potentially enlighten studies elsewhere in East Africa, across Africa, and possibly bey ond the continent A final factor influencing my focus on Kenya relates to numerous surveys alluding to interesting phenomena regarding the role of religion in African politics. A Afrobarometer survey found Africans consistently seek advice from re ligious leaders more often than from government officials or local leaders. This suggests the apparent influence of these religious leaders, but does not fully explain the types of influence or 20 As of March In the Legatum Prosperity Index, Kenya had a significantly higher ranking on the social capital sub index, compared to indices measuring economics, education, health, governance, security, and personal freedo m.

    Religion and Politics in Kenya Essays in Honor of a Meddlesome Priest by Knighton & B. | Fruugo

    Using Gallup World data, the Legatum authors explain this by noting that Kenya has "exceptionally high levels of religiosity" and "ranks seventh [globally] for the proportion of people who report that religion is im portant to them" Legatum W hile these surveys and polls reveal a fundamental relationship between religion and politics, what connection actually exists in Kenya between high religiosity and high social capital? With millions of citizens across Africa sitting under religious leaders hip, what direct and indirect political influence to these clerics have compared to political elite?

    This study therefore seeks to provide a Geertzian "thick description" to these survey findings. Key Terms A brief introduction to clarify numerous terms used in this study will be helpful Let me begin with the two biggest subjects: religion and politics Both terms encompass institutions and agency, public and private, historical and contemporary, indigenous a nd foreign. This rather wide understanding will be narrowed in the forthcoming chapters, 21 Unfortunately, the survey data set does not allow the separation of the topics of conversation personal vs.

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