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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Questioning social security in the study of religion in Africa: the ambiguous meaning of the gift in African Pentecostalism and Islam
Authors:Bruijn, Mirjam deISNI
Dijk, Rijk vanISNI
Book title:Social security in religious networks: anthropological perspectives on new risks and ambivalences
Geographic terms:Chad
Subjects:human security
Abstract:This chapter takes a look at the impact of religious charity on the material well-being of the inhabitants of two African communities. Comparing Sufi Islam and Pentecostal Christian networks, the authors examine local notions of need and emphasize that charity and gift giving neither aims at nor results in reducing the vulnerability of the population. The examples of Islamic charity towards children in Chad and the Pentecostal involvement of gift giving in Ghana both describe the logics of charity as pursuing the goal of individual salvation. Rather than delivering a general social good, social inequality is enacted in charity. The chapter hints at the ambiguity of goods and services delivered by and within vertically structured religious networks. It furthermore provides a comparative viewpoint on different ideologies of social security and the critical question of how to evaluate its various dimensions. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]