New book by Adriaan van Klinken: Christianity, Sexuality and Citizenship in Africa

CRPL member Adriaan van Klinken recently had a new book, Christianity, Sexuality and Citizenship in Africa, published by Routledge. The volume, which was co-edited with Ebenezer Obadare, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas, is the outcome of an international research workshop about Pentecostalism and sexual citizenship in Africa that took place at the University of Leeds in November 2016 and was hosted by the CRPL.

The book explores the interconnections between Christianity, sexuality and citizenship in sub-Saharan Africa, chronicling the ways in which citizenship in the region has undergone profound changes in recent decades as a result of growing interaction between Christianity and politics, the impact of the HIV epidemic, debates about women’s reproductive rights, and the growing visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.

Case studies examine the emergence of Christianity, especially in its Pentecostal-Charismatic forms, as a public religion, and how this emergence has meant that Christian actors, beliefs and practices have increasingly come to manifest themselves in the public sphere. The contributors assess how many political and religious leaders are invested in a popular ideology of the heterosexual family as the basis of nation-building, and how this defines narratives of nationhood and shapes notions of citizenship. Additional case studies focus on the emergence of sexuality as a critical site of citizenship and nationhood in postcolonial Africa, and address the difficulties that LGBT communities face in claiming recognition from the state.

Offering case studies from across sub-Saharan Africa and spanning several academic disciplines and critical perspectives, this book will be of interest to researchers seeking to understand the complex intersections of religion, sexuality, politics and citizenship across the region.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Citizenship Studies.

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