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Authors: Ezekwu, Anthony Okechukwu
Title: An analysis of the role of religions in politics in Nigeria from the perspective of Christian social ethics
Online publication date: 17-Nov-2022
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: The relation between religion and politics continues to be an important theme in our society today, despite the emergent consensus (both among political theorists and in practical political contexts, such as the United Nations) on the right to freedom of conscience and on the need for some sort of separation between church and state. One reason for the importance of this evaluation is that religions often make strong claims on people’s allegiance, and universal religions make these claims on all people, rather than just a particular community. For example, Christianity has traditionally held that all people owe obedience to God’s will. Thus, it is probably inevitable that religious commitments will sometimes come into conflict with the demands of politics. But religious beliefs and practices also potentially support politics in many ways. Culture matters especially in the African society. And religion, can be a powerful factor in shaping the culture, for good or evil. It is relevant to ask then, how might a culture's religious ideas influence the political stability of a society? Conservatives often maintain that a strongly religious society is more apt to remain loyal to the ideals of liberty. Specifically, they claim that religion offers two advantages: that it provides a firmer foundation for moral character and personal responsibility, thus creating a citizenry more honest, self-disciplined, and self-reliant, and so less likely to be tempted to advance themselves at the expense of their neighbors through government coercion—and that it offers the authority of God as an alternative to the authority of the State, and thus serves as a check on governmental aggrandizement. Such conservatives frequently conclude that the government of a free society should take active measures to promote and strengthen religion. Even if we accept the premise, however, this conclusion does not follow. A society in which the coercive power of the state is enlisted in the support of certain religious ideas is no longer a free society. Hence, even if religion should prove to be a necessary bulwark of freedom, such a bulwark would have to be held in place through voluntary means only, lest coercion in the means undermine the freedom that is sought as an end. Although secularism is proceeding rapidly in many of the world’s societies, and this trend seems connected in some way to the process of economic development, nevertheless religion continues to be an important political phenomenon throughout the world, for multiple reasons. In an ever-increasing secularized society, which is gradually creeping into Nigeria (a situation rendered dangerously complex by the huge tribal and religious divides among the peoples of this huge country), there is need for a mutual support and tolerance between the religions and the state. Irrespective of its diverse features and principles, religion remains basically on the huge side of good and sometimes stands out as a reliable partner in the state. One could however view the pair of religion and politics as uncomfortable bed fellows because they do not always make a good mix, yet they must both co-exist with one impacting a greater influence on the other. Ironically Nigeria has suffered a sad history of corruption and irresponsible leadership surprisingly from leaders who seemed to be religious people. Indeed, Nigeria has experienced many politicians both men and women who profess the Christian, Islamic or Traditional religion, but yet their conducts in political affairs are contrary to the moral principles of the very religion they profess. Politics is no doubt important for the common good, welfare of the people and the survival of the state. Politics affect everything that goes on in our country, in our states, in our towns, in our schools and even our churches, traditional shrines and mosques. It is relevant to note that the religions engage, respect, support and criticize the political authority when necessary. This engagement has often led to debates on whether religion should involve itself or play any role in the political affairs of any society or nation. Indeed, many argue on one hand that much involvement may jeopardize the spiritual status of the religious bodies or organizations while others argue on the other hand that being too distant from politics, questions the function of religion as the light and moral beacon of the society. Looking at the current political situation in Nigeria one is convinced that the modern political models have not been sufficiently discovered, developed, and operated in Nigeria. One thinks that the social and political behavior of Nigerians are in conflict with the present-day political structures and institutions. It is my view in this work that the political and religious actors have failed to harness the knowledge, attitudes, and responses with the indigenous values. Hence, one would logically inquire, ‘What is the relationship between the religions and the state? What role should the religions play in the politics of Nigeria?’ What is the way forward: tolerance and accommodation of religious beliefs? Finally, I intend to evaluate the role of the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) in Nigeria especially in the political arena of Nigeria.
DDC: 000 Allgemeines
000 Generalities
010 Bibliografien
010 Bibliography
080 Allgemeine Sammelwerke
080 General collections
200 Religion
200 Religion
220 Bibel
220 Bible
230 Theologie
230 Christian theology
290 Andere Religionen
290 Other and comparative religions
300 Sozialwissenschaften
300 Social sciences
320 Politik
320 Political science
350 Öffentliche Verwaltung
350 Public administration
355 Militär
355 Military science
360 Soziale Probleme
360 Social services
390 Bräuche
390 Customs
900 Geschichte
900 Geography and history
960 Geschichte Afrikas
960 General history of Africa
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 01 Katholische u. Evang. Theologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-openscience-ee7f3d84-ece8-4765-bb4a-d363be2289fe5
Version: Original work
Publication type: Dissertation
License: In Copyright
Information on rights of use:
Extent: ii, 260 Seiten
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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