While religion has become an important factor in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in African countries, modern Christian movements have become interested in propagating romantic ideas regarding relationships and sexuality. In his inaugural lecture Rijk van Dijk focuses on the emergence of this ‘faith in romance’ among Christian movements in Africa.
Although Christianity in Africa takes many forms, it is often characterised by strict views on sexuality and relationships. One striking development is that in recent years, these views show an increasing tendency of changing in line with global and middle-class notions of romantic love and a modern lifestyle. In a context where religion has become an important factor in the fight against the HIV-AIDS epidemic, major changes are taking place in the way Christians develop their ideas on relationships, sexuality and feelings. Modern Christian movements are not just influenced by these ideas, but also help shape them. Van Dijk asks how the rise in a ‘faith in romance’ can be interpreted, especially given the attraction it holds for younger generations in parts of Africa.
R.A. van Dijk, professor of Religion and Sexuality in Africa: Faith in Romance. Toward an Anthropology of Romantic Relationships, Sexuality and Responsibility in African Christianities.
This event is open to the public