Christianity, Islam, and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa

Hardcover | July 16, 2015

byRobert A. Dowd

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Drawing from research conducted in Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda, Christianity, Islam, and Liberal Democracy offers a deeper understanding of how Christian and Islamic faith communities affect the political attitudes of those who belong to them and, in turn, prospects for liberal democracy.While many analysts believe that religious diversity in developing countries is an impediment to liberal democracy, Robert A. Dowd concludes just the opposite. Dowd draws on narrative accounts, in-depth interviews, and large-scale surveys to show that Christian and Islamic religious communities aremore likely to support liberal democracy in religiously diverse and integrated settings than in religiously homogeneous or segregated ones. Religious diversity and integration, in other words, are good for liberal democracy. In religiously diverse and integrated environments, religious leaders tendto be more encouraging of civic engagement, democracy, and religious liberty.By providing a theoretical framework for understanding when and where Christian and Islamic communities in sub-Saharan Africa encourage and discourage liberal democracy, Dowd demonstrates how religious communities are important in affecting political actions and attitudes. This evidence, the bookultimately argues, should prompt policymakers interested in cultivating religiously-inspired support for liberal democracy to aid in the formation of religiously diverse neighborhoods, cities, and political organizations.

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Drawing from research conducted in Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda, Christianity, Islam, and Liberal Democracy offers a deeper understanding of how Christian and Islamic faith communities affect the political attitudes of those who belong to them and, in turn, prospects for liberal democracy.While many analysts believe that religious dive...

Robert A. Dowd is Assistant Professor of Political Science and director of the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.29 × 6.42 × 1.1 inPublished:July 16, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190225211

ISBN - 13:9780190225216

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesAcknowledgements1. Introduction: Christianity, Islam, and Liberal Democracy2. Time, Place, and the Application of Religion to Politics3. The Role of Religious Leaders4. The Impact of Religious Communities5. A Closer Look at Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda6. The Curious Case of Nigeria7. Important Lessons and New QuestionsAppendix AAppendix BBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In lucid and accessible prose, Robert Dowd offers startling new observations about the relationship between religion and democracy in a region often neglected by political scientists and policy analysts-sub-Saharan Africa. And the conclusion he draws is of enormous theoretical and practicalsignificance: that intense religious diversity and inter-religious interaction are not a hindrance to democracy but a key catalyst for the development of robust political and religious freedom. This is a landmark book that should be required reading for scholars and policy makers alike." --Timothy Samuel Shah, Associate Director and Scholar in Residence, Religious Freedom Project, Berkley Center For Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University