from Africa in Transition

Ten Books for Approaching Religious Conflict in Nigeria

August 19, 2014

Blog Post

More on:

Sub-Saharan Africa



United Kingdom

Heads of State and Government

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation has just published Emily Mellgard’s “Must Reads on Religious Conflict in Nigeria.”

As Mellgard observes, Nigeria has a rich literary tradition, and the Lagos International Book Fair is the largest in Africa. She suggests that an entry point into the complexities of the country is through its literature and what others have written about the country. Her list of "must reads" starts with two classics by Chinua Achebe,  Ngozi Adichie’s first novel, and  Saro-Wiwa’s  travel memoir. Her non-fiction selections are focused on the interplay between religion and politics in Nigeria.

The full selection includes:

  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
  • Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God
  • Noo Sara-Wiwa, Looking for Transwonderland
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus
  • Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom:  the Rise of Global Christianity
  • Ruth Marshall, Political Spiritualities:  The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria
  • John Campbell, Nigeria:  Dancing on the Brink
  • John Paden, Muslim Civic Cultures and Conflict Resolution:  the Challenge of Democratic Federalism in Nigeria
  • Julius Adekunle, ed., Religion in Politics:  Secularism and National Integration in Modern Nigeria
  • Toyin Falola, Violence in Nigeria:  The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies

Readers of Africa in Transition will recognize Emily Mellgard as its editor and also a contributor, especially on environmental issues. She has now moved to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in London where she will continue to follow Africa and religion.