Worlds Of Power shows how religious and supernatural ideas dominate African politics and culture, and how they shape the ways that Africans both rich and poor view the world.
Ellis and Ter Haar maintain that the specific content of religious thought has to be grasped if we are to appreciate the political significance of religion in Africa today, and this is what their book sets out to do. It also advances understanding of the relation between religion and political action in general.
‘There is much fascinating material in this book.’ —The Economist
‘This book is a fascinating, insightful and timely contribution to our body of knowledge about the world’s most culturally diverse, yet least understood, continent. Worlds of Power should be required reading for anyone wishing to understand modern Africa.’ — Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Lion’s Grave: Dispatches from Afghanistan
‘Worlds of Power shows how religious and supernatural ideas dominate African politics and culture, how they shape the ways that Africans both rich and poor view the world. This wide-ranging and thoroughly researched book is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand modern Africa.’ — Professor Philip Jenkins, author of The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity
‘Power in the material world, most Africans continue to believe, cannot be separated from its source in the spiritual. It is the singular genius of authors Stephen Ellis and Gerrie ter Haar that they understand the encompassing nature and centrality of this belief. The clarity and accuracy of this analytical lens makes Worlds of Power one of the most important books on African religion — and, indeed, on African politics — to appear in many years.’ — Professor Scott Appelby, University of Notre Dame
‘[…] the authors display how belief in a spirit world comes to wield an extraordinary influence over contemporary politics and plays a key role in corruption and dictatorship. […] Provides an illuminating lend through which to view a wide range of issues affecting Africa today […] required reading.’ — This Day (South Africa)
Stephen Ellis was Desmond Tutu Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the VU University, Amsterdamand a senior researcher at the African Studies Centre, Leiden. He wrote groundbreaking books on the ANC, the Liberian Civil War, religion and politics in Africa, and the history of Madagascar.
Gerrie ter Haar is Professor of Religion and Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (IS) in The Hague, part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has written on religious developments in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been published in at least seven languages.