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Invitation to an International Conference

Religion and Philosophy in the African Context


University of the Western Cape

Cape Town, South Africa

November 8-9, 2012






The life of religion or at least the protoreligious is as long as the traces of humanity itself and through times has been shaped in multiple religious forms: pharaonic, Christian, Islamic. This has formed in depth the life of the multiple peoples of the continent, their cultures and worldviews.


As its life becomes increasingly more complex and structured in recent it becomes important for the peoples to engage the arts of philosophy in order to have a more adequate self-understanding and more effective and appropriate organization of economic, social and political life. In particular it is important to be able to do this in ways that do not impoverish but enrich the meaning and values of the lives of the peoples.


Unfortunately much of the philosophy available from outside of Africa is too individualistic or idealistic to be able to capture and promote the full richness of the African sense of meaning and value. This makes the task of developing a more adequate philosophy for Africa and Africa’s gift to the world so exciting and promising. This will be the challenge and opportunity of the present conference for which the ability to make room for all of life, including Africa’s religious traditions – natural religious, Christianity and Islam – serve as bellwether.


Papers are invited on the following and other themes:


1/ relations of philosophy with culture and religion

2/ distinctive characteristics of religions in Africa: natural, Christian, Islamic and other

3/ the evolution of African philosophy from oral tradition, to logical argumentation to a hermeneutic of culture, etc.

4/ impact of individualism and liberal theory and Islam on the African worldview and way of life (NB the title of the World Congress in Athens 2013 is “Philosophy as Theory and Way of Life”)

5/ Contributions of Africa to the global dialogue of civilizations




The conference organizer at the University of Western Cape will provide room and board for those who will present their papers during the conference.




Professor Yasien Mohamed

Islamic Studies

University of the Western Cape

Cape Town, South Africa













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