Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Discussing the Occult, Witchcraft and Religion in Africa

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on September 13, 2009

An exciting debate is currently under way about the study of beliefs in an invisible world that are widespread in African societies. Terence Ranger started this dispute with a literature review in Africa journal two years ago where he pointed to the affinity between academic works on ‘the occult’ and popular Western ideas about Africa as a backward and superstitious continent. At the Aegis conference in Leipzig, scholars such as Filip de Boeck, Peter Geschiere, Stephen Ellis and Isak Niehaus discussed the matter. The August 09 issue of Africa presents a rejoinder to Ranger by Gerrie ter Haar and Ellis as well as a contribution on that subject by Birgit Meyer.