Intermediate program on African Cultures and Religion
By arrangement with participants (minimum of three students) 15 contact hours
Introduction to African cultures and religion program and a minimum of three months in the field, or have taken a full course and are returning for updating and renewal
This program covers selected African themes and beliefs and how they are expressed in contemporary culture. Topics include family lineage, moral teachings, and economic structures.
Students develop 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
Analyze field research data
Understand contemporary cultural realities, practices and beliefs of African societies
Day One: African Lineage
Lineal family structures of Africa
Roles and responsibilities of the members of the lineage
Place of the lineage in Africa today
Field Research Task for the day: Visit a family and research its structures
Day Two: Moral teachings pf African Religion
Moral formation in Africa
Moral and ethical problems in contemporary Africa
Impact of new religions (e.g. Christianity and Islam), Westernization and education on morality in Africa
Field Research Task for the day: Interview an elder on proper moral behavior in their community
Day Three: Contemporary Economic Realities
Globalization and national political economy
The effects of the World Bank and IMF on Kenya’s development
The economic effects of Kenya’s relationship with foreign companies and nations
Field Research Task for the day: Research a local development project
Kirwen , M. C. (2010). African Cultural Domains: Cycle of Family and Interpersonal Relationships. Nairobi: MIAS Books
____________ (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.
Magesa. Laurenti. (1997). African Religion: The Moral Traditions of Abundant Life. New York: Orbis Books.
Mshomba. R. E. (2000). Africa in the Global Economy. Boulder, Columbia: Lynne Rienner Publishers
Other readings as assigned by the lecturer.