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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Religion and politics in independent Nigeria
Author:Ilesanmi, S.O.ISNI
Year:1991
Periodical:Orita: Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies
Volume:23
Issue:1
Pages:49-70
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Christianity
Islam
Church and State
politics
Abstract:This article is a sociological interpretation of religion and politics in Nigeria. In Nigeria, religions have entered into power competition and consequently have become political religions. The author first reviews various interpretations of the place of religion in society. Next, he examines B. Wilson's (1982) and D. Martin's (1988) theses of secularization. He argues that Christianity becomes secularized when it is integrated into the operation of the total social system. The case is different with Islam. As a religion, it believes in the divine origin of government. The distinction between secular and spiritual has no meaning for the Muslim. The upshot of this is that Islam aims to engage in the regulation of the mundane social world. In his investigation of the interaction of religion and politics in independent Nigeria the author reviews T. Hobbes' and J.J. Rousseau's theories of the nature of political society. Secularism, which is the ideology adopted by the Nigerian government, was championed by Hobbes and Rousseau. Finally, the author discusses the ways in which religions have responded to the political challenges posed by the social realities in young emerging Nigeria, deploying D. Martin's (1988) theory of 'centre and periphery'. It becomes evident from this analysis that both Muslims and Christians have engaged in the struggle to have some modicum of influence on Nigerian political culture, but that, of the two groups, the Muslims are the keener. Ref.
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