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Fellow Zognong holds Seminar on Religious Business and Human Rights

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Philosopher and human rights scholar Dieudonné Zognong, currently at NIAS as Scholar-at-Risk Fellow, will discuss religious entrepreneurship in a seminar at the African Studies Centre (Leiden). The seminar "Religious business and the violation of human rights in Africa today" takes place on 28 May.

About the Seminar

‘Religious business and the violation of human rights in Africa today’
The growing pauperization of the lower classes in Sub-Saharan Africa is giving birth to new religiosities; notably, a Christianity of misery, characterized by countless unemployed and street-smart individuals striving for survival. Such people have learned to exploit the socio-political liberalization of the ’90s and they try their luck by proclaiming themselves to be prophets or chosen by God. They combine the Pentecostal rhetoric of ‘prosperity gospel’ with shamanic practices to sell ‘miracles’ to desperate and gullible people. The current and unprecedented ‘religious’ fervor has produced over 3000 prophets and prophetic assemblies in countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria or Congo-Kinshasa, where religious entrepreneurs are rapidly growing in influence among the poorer classes. At times this religious entrepreneurship goes along with criminal drifting, murder cases and offences to human dignity. How are these new figures of power becoming violators of human – civil, political, social and economic – rights? And how much of their existence is the result of corrupt governance?

About Dieudonné Zognong

Dieudonné Zognong received his PhD from the University of Yaoundé I. Currently he is an Adjunct Lecturer in Ethics and Moral Philosophy at this University. From 1 September 2014 to 30 June 2015 he is a Scholars at Risk Fellow at NIAS. Recently he published Le christianisme outragé : la misère religieuse en procès, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2014. 

Date: 28 May 15.30-17:00 

Venue: Room 5A37, African Studies Centre, Pieter de la Court building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden, a 10-minute walk from Leiden CS

Registration: asc@ascleiden.nl or via the ASC website
Discussant: Marleen de Witte, University of Amsterdam
Cost: Free


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