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Christianity, Development and Modernity In Africa$
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Paul Gifford

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190495732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190495732.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

African Christianity and Modernity

Chapter:
(p.145) 9 Conclusion
Source:
Christianity, Development and Modernity In Africa
Author(s):

Paul Gifford

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190495732.003.0010

This chapter recapitulates the argument. In the last few centuries a new world has come into being, one in which causality has come to be understood no longer in terms of spiritual forces. To the extent that religion continues to reinforce this enchanted religious imagination, it does not further participation in this modern world. This chapter is sceptical of “multiple modernities”, or the claim that an enchanted religious imagination can be combined with the functional rationality associated with modernity. This chapter briefly touches on wider issues arising from the discussion: the general reluctance to address the question of the enchanted imagination; the irrelevance for the secularization debate of the prevalence of religion in Africa; the difficulty of understanding religion in Africa as one simple or undifferentiated phenomenon; the importance of understanding the different kinds of religion when discussing the social role of religion.

Keywords:   Modernity, Causality, Multiple modernities, Functional rationality, NGO-ization, Role of religion

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