Religion and Changing Patterns of Authority in Africa

Project Expert

Ebenezer Obadare
Ebenezer Obadare

Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow for Africa Studies

About the Project

As the authority of the postcolonial African state steadily erodes in the face of numerous domestic and external challenges, scholars and policymakers have pondered how to reconstitute it. Curiously, the potential role of religion is downplayed when not totally omitted. The Project on Religion and Changing Patterns of Authority in Africa aspires to correct this oversight. It seeks to understand the role of spirituality in how ordinary people grapple with and strive to transcend the crisis of the state, how political leaders mobilize and manipulate religious symbols and affiliations, and how the religious class negotiates the state-society interface. The project tackles these questions through roundtable meetings, blog posts, and articles. 


West Africa

Chiedo Nwankwor, vice dean of education and academic affairs, and director of SAIS Women Lead at Johns Hopkins University, and Ebenezer Obadare, the Douglas Dillon senior fellow for Africa studies at…