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Animist Humanism: Decolonizing Philosophy of Religion In And Through African Cosmo-Sense

Increasingly, philosophy of religion is charged with failing to admit its Eurocentric character. The field typically remains preoccupied with either an ahistorical, Christian theism or the ‘religious turn’ in postmodern philosophy (analytic and continental philosophy of religion respectively). This project is a book-length study that aims to show how philosophy of religion might be reconfigured in important ways by thinking with the (routinely neglected) resources of African modes of religious life. Specifically, and distinctively, it asks: How might a focus on African indigenous religions inform the decolonization and deprovincialization of philosophy of religion?
This project first historicizes modern philosophy of religion in order to disclose its imbrication in a colonial global order. It then engages with sources in philosophy, anthropology, religious studies, and art history, along with African prose fiction and material culture, in order to construct an ‘animist humanism’ that intimates one way in which to reimagine the human beyond what Caribbean theorist Sylvia Wynter calls ‘Man’ – namely, rational, European Man ‘overrepresented’ as the human in general. Importantly, this study does not simply seek to expand the content of philosophy of religion but to renegotiate the field altogether.


Fellows involved in this project

United Kingdom

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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].