The Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Speaker on Religion and Conflict, featuring Anthea Butler
Pentecostalism—the most rapidly growing religious movement in the world—has taken firm hold in Nigeria since 1999, and its churches and pastors play a significant role in reshaping and dictating the political framework and message in Nigeria.
With the 2019 Presidential elections in Nigeria looming, Professor Butler's talk will take a look at the religious and political landscape of Pentecostals in Nigeria, its movers and shakers, and how Pentecostals are involved in shaping political, social, and moral messages in Nigeria, all while amassing great wealth. Pentecostals will play a role in electing a president in Nigeria, and it is important to understand how religion and politics have come together in this West African Nation, and what the future may hold.
Anthea Butler is professor of religious and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania. A historian of American and African American religion, Professor Butler’s research and writing engages questions of religion and politics, gender, sexuality, media, and popular culture. She is the author of Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World and is currently completing a book project on religion, race, politics and evangelicals. Butler is currently a fellow with the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism and International Affairs Religion and International Affairs, with a focus on politics and the prosperity gospel in Nigeria. She regularly writes opinion pieces covering contemporary politics, religion, and race for The Guardian, Washington Post, and The New York Times, as well as offers media commentary on the BBC, MSNC, CNN, and ABC.
The Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Speaker Series on Religion and Conflict is an endowed lecture series that honors the life-long commitment of Maxine Besser Marshall ('76) and Jonathan Marshall to the arts, education, civil liberties, and world peace.