chapter
13 Pages

Introduction

Themes in religion and human security in Africa
ByJoram Tarusarira, Ezra Chitando

Religion continues to be an enigma to many commentators, including those who operate within religious studies. The authors assert that ‘religion’ is not a stable category, but one that shifts depending on its interaction with other invented categories such as ‘politics’, ‘nation’, ‘state’, ‘economics’, and so on. The concept of human security is traceable to the 1994 United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report, whose aim was to add a people-centred dimension to the traditional security, development and human rights frameworks while locating itself in the area where they converge. In the specific context of Africa, there is a growing awareness of the interface between religion and human security. The embrace of religion by politicians, especially deriving advantage from the religious authority of religious leaders, including co-opting them into patronage systems, is a common phenomenon in Africa. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.