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Additional resources for Development and Politics from Below: Exploring Religious Spaces in the African State

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The separation of Church and State and even the disenchantment of the world, that is to say move away from a belief in spiritual powers, at least as seen from Europe, are generally acknowledged as important themes of Europe’s own history during the age of colonialism. Colonial administrations in Africa, in keeping with convention in their home countries, generally considered religion and politics as two distinct spheres that should properly be subject to institutional and intellectual separation.

They conceived of their superiority as both moral and technical. Over centuries, an externally conceived aspiration to transform Africa has become inseparable from several other projects or trajectories, including an evangelizing impulse, the expansion of capitalist markets and contests for global power. The urge to transform has spread from Western Europe to other places, notably North America. The idea of a mission to civilize parts of the world that were perceived as stuck in time became an integral part of colonialism.

Myers, B. L. (1999), Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development, Marynoll: Orbis/World Development. Norris, P. & Inglehart, R. (2004), Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pallas, C. (2005), ‘Canterbury to Cameroon: A New Partnership Between Faiths and the World Bank’ Development in Practice, 15 (5), pp. 677–684. Peterson, A. (1996) ‘Religion and Society in Latin America: Ambivalences and Advances’ Latin American Research Review, 31 (2), pp.

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