Religious Scholar Discusses Conflict in Africa between Religion and Government

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

March 5, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Rosalind Hackett, one of the world¼s foremost authorities on African religions, will speak on “Prophets, ‘False Prophets’ and the African State: Emergent Issues of Religious Freedom and Conflict” at the University of New Hampshire Monday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be held in Hamilton Smith room 101.

New forms of religion are appearing all over Africa. Some of these new African religions are revivalist, some apocalyptic and even violent, like last year’s Ten Commandments Movement in Uganda. These movements challenge African governments’ notions of religious pluralism and tolerance. Worrying about “cults” and human rights, some governments have now begun to crack down on new religious movements.

Hackett is a professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee with a focus on indigenous religions, and is spending this academic year as a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. Hackett has written numerous publications on religious forms, new religious movements and art in African religion, and is researching the use of electronic media by religious organizations in some African countries.

The lecture is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the Department of History, the Center for International Education, and the Religious Studies Program. For more information, call Funso Afolayan at 862-3026 or David Frankfurter at 862-3015.

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