What do we Mean by Secularization in Africa? Contributions and Limitations by the Western Secularization Discourse

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    Generally speaking, the current debate on secularization is very much a Western affair, which, when applied in non-Western contexts, runs the risk of generating rather ethnocentric judgments. As Charles Taylor says: when talking about secularization outside of the West, “the name may be the same, but the reality will often be different”. We take a look at contributions to the debate by some of the leading secularization thinkers (Taylor, Swatos and Christiano, Casanova, Inglehart and Norris) with the aim of identifying aspects of secularization thought that can help guide thinking about secularization in Africa. We conclude that parts of Western secularization thought can indeed be of service. Aspects identified include the classification of levels of development by Inglehart and Norris, and the distinction of three types of secularization by Casanova.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIs Africa Incurably Religious? Secularization and Discipleship in Africa
    EditorsBenno van den Toren, Joseph Bosco Bangura, Richard E. Seed
    Place of PublicationOxford UK
    PublisherRegnum Books
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)978-1-913363-85-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Secularization
    • Charles Taylor
    • Jose Casanova
    • Africa

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