Reading Scriptures: Gender and Class in the “A Witch for Jesus’ Saga

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According to René Girard (The Scapegoat), the unpalatability of evil finds expression through ritual establishment of a scapegoat. Yet, within evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity, there is no lacking in biblical passage quotations to justify the need to destroy the power of witchcraft; the presence of evil in this world results in belief in witchcraft.

This paper examines the use of the theme of witchcraft tropes among selected evangelical Christian organizations in Nigeria. Thesis: cultural biases in gender and class relations play key roles in the interpretation of sacred scriptures.

Craft “Witch”: Interconnective Scripturalizations and Identity Economies

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This paper uses frameworks from ethnographies of interconnection” to engage recent development theories as found in Kingsley C. Moghalu’s ‘Last Frontier in relation to interconnective constructions of “witch” in identity scripturalizations. In addition to textual and film analyses, the research uses ethnography work from two African Initiated (Pentecostal) Churches (AIPC): The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), both located in Georgia, U.S.A.

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Scriptures and Fury: The Yoruba Sango and Jesus in Judgement

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‘The Yoruba Sango and Jesus in Judgement’ explores tropes of power in human relations, especially as these help our understanding towards comparative scriptures—in the things that scriptures do, are made to do/are used to do, rather than what they mean à la Vincent L. Wimbush, scholar of Religion and Director Institute for Signifying Scriptures  (Theorizing Scriptures). Persons and communities often arm and equip themselves with what they consider to be divinely-inspired explanations of the supernatural origins and ownership of their “owned scripture.” Subsequently, as psycho-political instruments, users of scriptures activate and deploy same in socio-cultural contexts in order to allow scriptures do stuff for them, not merely as conduits of hermeneutics; after all, messages from the gods require a messenger to deliver them.

This paper uses the theme of fury from two cultures—ancient-contemporary Yoruba and first-century Christianity, in juxtaposition with the deployment and use of anger, threat, and punishment in the US Presidency of Donald Trump—to examine scripture as an Anglo-freighted concept for the imaginaries of power and privilege, or as a response to both power and privilege.

First of all, who is Sango, and what is his connection with fury? How does establishment of a Sango-fury nexus help our definitions in Religious Studies? Does engaging these subjects—Sango, fury, and scripture—help us in understanding Donald Trump as a Christian and politician: a businessman sui generis? Therefore, this paper is preoccupied with providing responses to the above issues, questions, and concerns, in relation to the use of scripture in a power forge.

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Rosemary Graham-Naigba and the Feminization of Niger Delta Activism

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More often than not, media representations and social portrayals of activism in the Niger Delta convey the characteristic Eurocentric chauvinism of geopolitical assumptions.
Activism is not a new phenomenon in the Niger Delta. During the colonial era, an Ijawman, Garrick Sokari Braide, became the face of social protest, when, through his religio-spiritual activities being his own reading and interpretations of the Biblical Holy Spirit phenomenon, preached won a large followership over to himself. His ministrations challenged status quo and had significant socio-economic impacts. As revenues from alcohol and other British trades dwindled, the colonial administration blamed Braide.
The Ijaw Women Connect (IWC), founded by Rosemary Aken Graham-Naigba, conveys and articulates a radical alternative to status quo activism in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Although there are abundant justifications for social justice activism in the Niger Delta, for too long, most have not been founded or based lasting ideological principles. Hence, governments and other key players such as the multinational oil companies have taken advantage of this porosity or lack of critical philosophy.
Rosemary Graham-Naigba describes herself and the IWC as difference makers. In this piece, I intend to examine the intersections of gender, class, and culture in the categorization of activists in the Niger Delta. I also consider the historical roles of colonization and hegemony in the distribution of justice in Nigeria.

American Heritage through the Lens and Mobilities of Confederate Icons

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Reading Difference, Reading Evil

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This Comparative Heritage (CHERIT) conference will explore critical conversations around the productions of difference and cultivation and politics of evil. Abstracts and papers which address the are welcome from scholars, researchers, activists, etc. Some areas to be covered include the following: Religious Studies, Anthropology, Philosophy, Literature/Linguistics, Political Science, History, Cultural Studies, Reading Difference, Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, among others.
Abstracts submission deadline: November 30, 2017
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Castleberry Inns and Suites

Castleberry Inns and Suites in Downtown ATL

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Castleberry Inn & Suites
186 Northside Drive Southwest,
Atlanta, GA 30313
Phone: 404-893-466/404522-4316

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A Preview of Biography of Darkness

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As the center’s Research Fellow in Global Leadership (2012-13), I helped conceptualize ideas about African American heritage at the Interdenominational Theological Center; fortunately, I was the institutes’ defacto director. Due to institutional dynamics, I repositioned my research activities (2013-beyond) with Living Effective Heritage (now Comparative Heritage, or CHERIT).

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