Advanced program on African Cultures and Religion
By arrangement with participants (minimum of three students) 15 contact hours
Intermediate program on African cultures and religion and a minimum of three months in the field following the intermediate program, or have taken a full course and are returning for updating and renewal.
This program covers selected African themes that are different and more focused than those of the intermediate program and illustrates how they are expressed in contemporary cultures. Topics include Ancestors, the notion of evil and political leadership.
Students refine their field research techniques and analytical skills, assisted by trained Kenyan University graduates who function as personal assistants in the field.
Student Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students are expected to be able to do the following:
Synthesize information and knowledge regarding three aspects of African culture
Design and carry out field research
Articulate and record field research findings
Do thematic analysis of the field data
Relate the three themes to contemporary African societies
Day One: Ancestors
Qualities for ancestorhood in Africa
Role and place of ancestors in Africa
Ancestors and Christianity/Islam
Field Research Task for the day: Interview elders on their relationship with the living dead and ancestors
Day Two: Witch: The Problem of evil
Concept of evil in Africa
The witch and witchcraft
Expiation of evil
Field Research Task for the day: Interview a Diviner on the source of evil and misfortunes
Day Three: Leadership in Contemporary political realities
Democracy and multiparty politics in Africa
Field Research Task for the day: Interview a political leader, e.g., a chief, councilor, governor, or member of parliament
Ayyitey, G. B. N. (1999). Africa in Chaos. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin
Kirwen , M. C. (2008). African Cultural Domains: Life Cycle of an Individual: Nairobi: MIAS Books.
_____________ (2005). African Cultural Knowledge: Themes and Embedded Beliefs. Nairobi: MIAS Books
Magesa, Laurenti. (2004). Anatomy of Inculturation . Nairobi” Paulines Publications.
Rainer, S. D.B. (1990). Political Stability and development: A comparative analysis of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Other readings as assigned by the lecturer.