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On the Renaissance of African Modes of Thought - The Example of the Belief in Magic and Witchcraft

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  • Kohnert, Dirk

Abstract

The analysis of African occult belief systems provides a unique example for demonstrating that seemingly outdated and exotic African modes of thought, such as the belief in magic and witchcraft, are modern and have significant impact on social, economic and political structures. Official approaches, designed to cope with the problems of witchcraft violence in Africa, have since the advent of colonial rule, been based on eurocentric views and colonial jurisdiction, legitimised by Western social science. These answers are inadequate; in fact, they constitute part of the problem itself. African religions could provide a framework for valuable indigenous solutions to actual problems of contemporary life, including the problem of witchcraft violence. Besides this, they might, under certain conditions, provide the outside world with an inspiring new dimension of philosophic thought and emancipative action for example, within the realm of conflict resolution and reconciliation. However, even in the case of the ‘domestication’ of witchcraft violence, this holds only in so far as appropriate African answers can be shielded against the negative impact of globalised liberal capitalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "On the Renaissance of African Modes of Thought - The Example of the Belief in Magic and Witchcraft," MPRA Paper 7019, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7019
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Briones Alonso & Lara Cockx & Johan Swinnen, 2017. "Culture and Food Security," Working Papers id:12061, eSocialSciences.
    2. Kohnert, Dirk, 2010. "Drivers of change or cut-throat competitors? Challenging Cultures of Innovation of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in West Africa," MPRA Paper 23132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Schumacher, Heiner & Hadnes, Myriam, 2010. "Contract Enforcement by the Gods," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 11, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    4. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "Togo: Failed election and misguided aid at the roots of economic misery," MPRA Paper 5207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    African Renaissance; occult belief; rationality; rational actor;

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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