Christianity, modernity and the politics of homosexuality in Africa

This project examines the complexity and multiplicity of Christian contributions to politics of homosexuality and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights in Africa. In popular discourses, Christianity is used to perpetuate nationalist rhetoric of African authenticity in which homosexuality is depicted as ‘un-African’ and ‘un-Christian’ and therefore unacceptable. At the same time, Christian-inspired beliefs are also negotiated and used by those advocating for LGBT rights and/or identifying as LGBT. This reflects not only the variety of Christianities in contemporary Africa, their public manifestation, and the socio-political tensions between them, but also the different transnational networks in which local Christian discourses are embedded and the competing forms of modernity they represent. Unravelling this dynamic, this project will particularly focus on case studies in Kenya where homosexuality recently has become deeply politicised through religious discourses and mobilisations.

Project leader(s):
  • Adriaan van Klinken (Leeds)

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