Christianity through the Lens of Contemporary African Literature: Critical and Creative Representations

03 May 2023, 16:00 - 03 May 2023, 17:30 Divinity Faculty, Room 7

Seminar online and in person

Prof. Adriaan van Klinken

Abstract:

African literature, like African Christianity, is perhaps more vibrant than ever. Mid-twentieth century literary texts, written in the era of political decolonisation, often engage with Christianity in critical, if not negative ways, associating it with European colonialism.

How does a current generation of African writers – who grew up in the postcolonial era – represent and engage with the increasingly diverse forms of Christian faith? What insight does contemporary African literature provide into the social, cultural and political status of Christianity on the continent? This presentation explores these and other questions by discussing a selection of recent texts by mostly Nigerian writers.

Bio:

Adriaan van Klinken is Professor of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on the public role of Christianity in African societies, especially in relation to issues of gender and sexuality. His latest books are Kenyan, Christian, Queer: Religion, LGBT Activism, and Arts of Resistance in Africa (Penn State University Press, 2019); with Ezra Chitando, Reimagining Christianity and Sexual Diversity in Africa (Hurst & Co, 2021); and with Johanna Stiebert, Sebyala Brian, and Fredrick Hudson, Sacred Queer Stories: Ugandan LGBTQ+ Refugee Lives and the Bible (James Currey, 2021). Adriaan is increasingly interested in studying Christianity through the lens of African cultural and literary production.

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