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A Tale of Two Councils: The Political Role of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa

  • Monday, October 9, 2017
  • 3:30 PM–5:00 PM
  • Meeter Center Lecture Hall

Dr. Tracy Kuperus, International Development Studies, will speak on “A Tale of Two Councils: The Political Role of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa.”

Ghana and South Africa represent two African countries that offer compelling comparative insight regarding the influence of religion in the socio-political sphere. In both countries, the number of religious adherents is high, religious experiences are varied, and the public spaces filled by religious organizations are innumerable. This presentation will focus on the role that two prominent ecumenical councils play in the ongoing efforts of democratic consolidation in Ghana and South Africa.

Relying on data from interviews and primary and secondary sources, Tracy Kuperus will argue that both the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC) embrace a prophetic voice that steers Ghana and South Africa respectively toward participatory democracy; however, the CCG is a far more influential political actor than the SACC because of its moral authority. The latter is related the CCG’s visionary policy-making during the democratic transition and its continual stance of political neutrality.

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