Invidual residences


From Monday, 11 November 2019 to Sunday, 1 December 2019

Emeritus Professor of Religion
Addis Ababa


Paul Gifford was born in New Zealand. He has studied in Wellington, Rome, Oxford and Uppsala. He began his teaching career at the University of Zimbabwe, and has taught at the University of Leeds, and since 1992 in the department of the study of religion in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London. He has conducted major research on new developments in African Christianity and on African Cvil Society. He has authored several books, including African Christianity: its Public Role (1998) and  Christianity, Development and Modernity in Africa (2015), and his latest book is The Plight of Western Religion (London: 2019). He currently is researching in Ethiopia. 


In the West there has been the widespread decline of Christianity, in terms of attendance, affiliation, and belief, and even the religion remaining is of an internally secularized kind, downplaying any ‘otherworldly’ element in favour of this-worldly or humanitarian causes. However, it seems agreed in scholarly circles that even though Europe may be secularized in that sense, the USA remains very religious; thus, according to one study, we have ‘Secular Europe’ but ‘Religious America’. I intend to investigate whether this is true, or whether much of what passes for religion in USA is better considered cultural or political.

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