Original Research - Special Collection: Interreligious Dialogue

Political and socio-economic convergence of religions in Nigeria: Positive views and interests

Daniel Orogun
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 2 | a8734 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.8734 | © 2023 Daniel Orogun | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 March 2023 | Published: 31 August 2023

About the author(s)

Daniel Orogun, Department of Religion Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Extensive review of academic writings on the convergence of religions (COR) in Nigeria shows that many online academic papers and related conversations gave more attention to its negative implications. Agreeably, Nigeria is the hotbed of religious crises in Africa. However, with the benefits of hindsight, filling the gap of insufficient capture of the positive impact of COR is considered in this exercise with three questions in view: (1) Where do religions meet? (2) Why do religions meet? (3) What are the positive implications of their convergence in Nigeria? Answers were adequately captured with examples, scenarios, case studies, historical evidence, and concomitant academic literature. Overall, this exercise projected three arguments. Firstly, it posited that commitment to religion is not at the heart of COR in Nigeria, rather, COR is premised on personal or group interests. Secondly, it argued that positive reflections on the COR can promote inter-religious tolerance, peace, and unity. Thirdly, it proposed that the COR has far-reaching positive implications socially, politically, and economically. Lastly, it made brief recommendations for improved co-existence and nation-building.

Contribution: This article contributes to inter-religious dialogue in Africa as it focuses on the social, political and economic value of religion in Nigeria.


Keywords

economic convergence; political convergence; social convergence; syncretistic convergence; interests

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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