“Born of Lament: On the Possibility and Prospects of Hope In Africa” - Fieldwork in Africa

Faculty Research Grant
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Born of Lament investigates the theological notion of lament as a way to account for the resilience, agency and innovativeness of Christian social activists for non-violent change in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa. The research will highlight the inner connection between lament and hope and the theological, social and political implications of this connection for African societies. The theoretical aspect of the research will be advanced by (i) field research, which will gather data in Eastern Congo on the historical, religious and cultural expressions of lament, and (ii) a workshop of select Christian social activists, which will test both the theological frameworks and the insights from the field research. The research will lead to a book publication, which will advance a scholarly conversation on issues of religion, politics, culture and human development in Africa, and more specifically, on the relation between Christian faith and the search for peace.