Pentecostal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria

Thursday, 24 January 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Pentecostal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria

Date & Time: Thursday 24 January, 19:00 – 20:30
Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Throughout its history, Nigeria has been plagued by religious divisions. Tensions have only intensified since the restoration of democracy in 1999, with the divide between Christian south and Muslim north playing a central role in the country’s electoral politics, as well as manifesting itself in the religious warfare waged by Boko Haram.

Through the lens of Christian–Muslim struggles for supremacy, Ebenezer Obadare charts the turbulent course of democracy in the Nigerian Fourth Republic, exploring the key role religion has played in ordering society. He argues the rise of Pentecostalism is a force focused on appropriating state power, transforming the dynamics of the country and acting to demobilize civil society, further providing a trigger for Muslim revivalism.

Covering events of recent decades to the election of Buhari, Pentecostal Republic shows that religio-political contestations have become integral to Nigeria’s democratic process, and are fundamental to understanding its future. Join us for the book launch and a discussion on the topic with distinguished guest speakers.



Ebenezer Obadare, Author and Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas

Dr Portia Roelofs, LSE Fellow, Department of International Development, LSE

Wale Lawal, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Republic

Dr Adriaan van Klinken, Associate Professor Religion & African Studies, University of Leeds

Moderator: Dr Marloes Janson - Reader in West African Anthropology, Associate Director of Research -  Department of Anthropology and Sociology,  SOAS 


This event is free to attend but spaces are limited.

Please reserve your place on Eventbrite.

About the Series

Written by experts with an unrivalled knowledge of the continent, African Arguments is a series of concise, engaging books that address the key issues currently facing Africa. Topical and thought-provoking, accessible but in-depth, they provide essential reading for anyone interested in getting to the heart of both why contemporary Africa is the way it is and how it is changing. The African Arguments series is published for the International African Institute by Zed Books in association with the Royal African Society and the World Peace Foundation.