Religious Encounters and Social Dynamics in Burkina Faso

Alice Degorce, Ludovic O. Kibora & Katrin Langewiesche (Eds)

Foreword by Benjamin Soares

Burkina Faso’s religious landscape, where traditional, Islamic and Christian religions intersect, is part of a social and historical context spread over several centuries marked by a diversity that has been studied by researchers for a long time. As the security situation deteriorates in recent years in the Sahel region, the religious question is increasingly being redefined and placed at the forefront of the Burkinabe socio-political scene. This collective work offers readers a synthesis of the knowledge accumulated by researchers over the past decades on the different religions and the social dynamics associated with them to shed light on the management of the country’s religious diversity and coexistence without masking the new tensions and conflicts being experienced.

The first part of the book thoroughly explores the religious movements and currents present in the country to underline the centrality of religion in understanding social change in its polity. In the second part, the interactions between religions are analyzed across current transversal themes and questions, such as education, demography, politics, the role of faith-based NGOs, the historicity of the notion of jihad or the use of new information and communication technologies to show the connections within the construction of knowledge and political contexts. The contributions acutely show that recent socio-political dynamics in Burkina Faso are undoubtedly redefining religious boundaries and exposing the limitations of a historically and socially rooted contexts of diversity, yet the question remains on how to draw on this diversity and religious coexistence to confront new emerging tensions and conflicts.

Author Details

Alice Degorce is a research fellow at the Institute de Recherche et Développement (IRD) and a member of the Institut des mondes africains (IMAF), Paris, France. Her work focuses on the religious and linguistic practices of migrants in Burkina Faso. She has published, among others, with Honorine Sawadogo and Aude Nikiema “Les mères de jumeaux autour des mosquées à Ouagadougou: réappropriations, mobilités et mutations urbaines”, Cahiers d’Outre-Mer, n° 274 (2018); “Du rap à l’évangélisation. Parcours de vie d’un bishop de Ouagadougou”, Volume! La revue des musiques populaires, n° 14-1 (2017) and Chants funéraires des Mossi (Burkina Faso), in the collection Classiques Africains, Paris, Karthala, 2014.

Ludovic Ouhonyioué Kibora holds a PhD in anthropology, ethnology and the science of religions from the University of Paris 7 Denis-Diderot. He is the current director of the Institut des sciences des sociétés du Centre national de la recherche scientifique et technologique (INSS/CNRST) (INSS/CNRST). He is co-author of the book on Tansformations socio-politiques au Burkina Faso de 2014 à 2017. Perspectives anthropologiques des pratiques politiques et de la culture démocratique dans “un Burkina nouveau”, Uppsala, Uppsala universitet, 2017; and the author of Du dehors au-dedans, l’alliance chez les kasena, Paris, Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot, 1997.

Katrin Langewiesche is an anthropologist at the Institute of Ethnology and African Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. Her research interests include religious plurality in modern African societies, conversion theories, Islamic and Catholic movements, faith-based NGOs, as well as methodological and epistemological developments in social sciences. Her publications include Mobilité religieuse. Changements religieux au Burkina Faso (Lit Verlag 2003), La mission au féminin dans un monde globalisé (dossier thématique de la revue Histoire, Mondes & Cultures religieuses, 2014), L’enquête et ses graphies en sciences sociales (co-edited with Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo, Amalion 2019).

Contributors : Louis Audet Gosselin, Benoît Beucher, Adrien Bitibaly, Issa Cissé, Maxime Compaoré, Kathéry Couillard, Alice Degorce, Hamidou Diallo, Damien Glez, Martial Halpougdou, Ludovic Kibora, Pascal Kolesnore, Katrin Langewiesche, Frédérik Madore, Aude Nikiema, Nyaba Léon Ouédraogo, Yacouba Ouédraogo, Marc Pilon, Maud Saint-Lary, Benjamin Soares, Mara Vitale.

ISBNs: 9782359261134 PB 9782359261141 EBook

Extent: 344pp; photos, illustrations; 234 mm x 156 mm

Price: $40 • £30 • €35 • CFA17500

Release Date: April 2022

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