Affective Trajectories

Religion and Emotion in African Cityscapes

Affective Trajectories

Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People

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Book Pages: 320 Illustrations: 10 Published: February 2020

African Studies, Cultural Studies > Affect Theory, Religious Studies

The contributors to Affective Trajectories examine the mutual and highly complex entwinements between religion and affect in urban Africa in the early twenty-first century. Drawing on ethnographic research throughout the continent and in African diasporic communities abroad, they trace the myriad ways religious ideas, practices, and materialities interact with affect to configure life in urban spaces. Whether examining the affective force of the built urban environment or how religious practices contribute to new forms of attachment, identification, and place-making, they illustrate the force of affect as it is shaped by temporality and spatiality in the religious lives of individuals and communities. Among other topics, they explore Masowe Apostolic Christianity in relation to experiences of displacement in Harare, Zimbabwe; Muslim identity, belonging, and the global ummah in Ghana; crime, emotions, and conversion to neo-Pentecostalism in Cape Town; and spiritual cleansing in a Congolese branch of a Japanese religious movement. In so doing, the contributors demonstrate how the social and material living conditions of African cities generate diverse affective forms of religious experiences in ways that foster both localized and transnational paths of emotional knowledge.

Contributors. Astrid Bochow, Marian Burchardt, Rafael Cazarin, Hansjörg Dilger, Alessandro Gusman, Murtala Ibrahim, Peter Lambertz, Isabelle L. Lange, Isabel Mukonyora, Benedikt Pontzen, Hanspeter Reihling, Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon


“This amazing collection of highly evocative and sophisticated essays makes a cutting-edge intervention into current debates on the role of emotions and affect in religious practice as well as the study of urbanity in African studies and beyond. There is no doubt that Affective Trajectories will be of keen interest to those researching African urbanities and religion and urban studies more broadly.” — Birgit Meyer, author of Sensational Movies: Video, Vision, and Christianity in Ghana

“Providing a diverse range of case studies of how religious experience plays out and is expressed affectively, this unique and timely volume pushes forward the study of affect and emotion in religious contexts. An innovative and original contribution.” — Kai Kresse, author of Swahili Muslim Publics and Postcolonial Experience


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Hansjörg Dilger is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin.

Astrid Bochow is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

Marian Burchardt is Professor of Sociology at Leipzig University.

Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon is Lecturer of Social Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand.

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Table of Contents Forthcoming
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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0626-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0549-0
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