SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Religion and Diaspora: African Migrants' Religious Networks in Britain and Europe

Religion and Diaspora: African Migrants' Religious Networks in Britain and Europe
The list of speakers is confirmed in the programme

Date: 24 November 2012Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 24 November 2012Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Conference

This one-day event brings together historians, anthropologists, literary scholars and scholars of religion with religious practitioners, both Muslim and Christian, from faith communities in London and more broadly across Britain and Europe. The broad theme of the event is religion and citizenship in the African diaspora. In particular, speakers will examine the aims and ambitions of religious networks amongst Africans in Britain and Europe, as well as their daily struggles, tensions and moments of defeat. We intend to focus particularly on the interaction of African migrants and religion with families and gender roles, on attempts at outreach and cooperation between different religious constituencies, and on the significance of religious affiliations as supportive mechanisms. We will aim to enable focused conversation between our panellists, as well as draw upon the participation of the audience.

10:00-10:30Registration and Refreshments

Panel 1 ~ Diasporic Possibilities

  • Heiko Henkel (University of Copenhagen): Varieties of European Secularity: Promises and Challenges for the Diaspora
  • Fuad Nahdi (The Radical Middle Way): What resources do African Muslims in Britain have for engaging with, and embracing, British Islam?
  • Celia Apeagyei-Collins (The Rehoboth Foundation): The Christian African Woman and Her Emerging Role as a Leader in the Diaspora

Panel 2 ~ Education, Activism and Engaging with Society

  • Femi Olowo (South London Christian College): The Empowerment of Africans in Diaspora through Christian Education
  • Bashir Osman (The Federation of Student Islamic Societies): Somalis engaging with society
  • Anne Kubai (University of Uppsala): Somalis in Sweden: 'The problem will be solved when they are integrated'
2:30-2:45Tea & Coffee Break

Panel 3 ~ Networking and Negotiating Citizenship

  • Israel Olofinjana (Catford Community Church): Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) presence within British Historic Churches: A Casestudy of Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • Joanna Sadgrove (Centre for African Studies, Leeds and Us): Changing families, seeking solidarities: Transnational religious networks and African debates about homosexuality
  • Afe Adogame (University of Edinburgh):  'I know you are British but where do you come from originally?': Negotiating citizenship and networking within the African religious diaspora
4:15-5:00Coffee and Final Discussion
Chaired by Felicitas Becker (University of Cambridge) and Joel Cabrita (SOAS, University of London)

Organiser: Department of the Study of Religions, Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4892/3

Sponsor: SOAS Faculty of Arts and Humanities, AHRC and Cambridge Inter-faith Programme