Democratization, Religious Actors, and Political Influence: A Comparison of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa

1:00 pm on Friday, November 3, 2017
2:30 pm on Friday, November 3, 2017
Contact Name:
Arlene Brennan
CURA Event. First half of session will consist of attendees giving critical feedback on Dr. Kuperus' paper, and the second half will be her defense. Ghana and South Africa represent two African countries that offer compelling comparative insight regarding the influence of religion in the socio-political sphere. In both countries, the number of religious adherents is high, religious experiences are varied, and the public spaces filled by religious organizations are innumerable. This presentation will focus on the role that two prominent ecumenical councils play in the ongoing efforts of democratic consolidation in Ghana and South Africa. The Christian Council of Ghana, it will be argued, is a far more influential political actor than the South African Council of Churches (SACC), a surprising outcome given the stature and influence of the SACC during the apartheid years in South Africa. Email for a copy of this paper.