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Religious urbanisation and infrastructural lives in African mega-cities

Religious urbanization and moral economies of development in Africa

Call for Chapter Submissions

View of former Redeem church HQs from 3M bridge in Lagos


Abstracts are invited for an interdisciplinary volume on Religious urbanization and moral economies of development in Africa, edited by David Garbin (University of Kent), Simon Coleman (University of Toronto) and Gareth Millington (University of York). The volume will critically explore how processes related to religious urbanization intersect with different notions of development in African contexts. Cities are taken to be powerful venues for the creation and implementation of models of development whose moral, temporal, and political assumptions need to be examined, not least as they intersect with religious templates for the planning and reform of urban space.

The themes and problematics to be discussed in this volume reflect the broader focus of the Religious Urbanization in Africa project (see https://rua-project.ac.uk/). These include (but are not limited to):

  • The ways urban faith-based practices of ‘development’ – through for example the provision of basic infrastructure, utilities, housing, health and educational facilities – link moral subjectivities with individual and wider narratives/aspirations of modernization, change, deliverance or prosperity
  • The ideals of belonging and citizenship promoted by religious visions of the ‘ideal city’ and how these are materially articulated in concrete urban developments
  • How models of infrastructural development mobilized by religious actors may conflict or cohere with existing regimes of planning in specific urban contexts as well as with international development discourses
  • The ways in which religious actors and groups may provide resources to negotiate unpredictability and socio-economic uncertainties through production of urban/infrastructural space

We welcome empirically-grounded qualitative case studies or comparative approaches (including but not limited to Islam or Christianity), in particular chapters linking urban change in African context(s), religious place-making, and ‘development’ discourses and practices at various scales.

The proposal for this volume has been invited for a new Bloomsbury book series, ‘Studies in Religion, Space and Place’.

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words no later than 20 November 2018 to ruaproject@kent.ac.uk

Accepted chapters in full (6000-7000 words) will be due by 1 June 2019.