Although the history of emotions is a booming field, historians of Africa have rarely taken up this approach. And yet the history of emotions is crucial for a better understanding of many fields, among them spirituality and religiosity. Cultures of religious preaching and teaching often rest upon the emotionalization of adherents and students. This panel analyses religious cultures in Eastern and Central Africa and their forms of expression in the emotional realm. It aims to take a closer look at these processes of emotionalization from the perspective of African religious actors such as students at religious institutions, religious authorities, preachers, and lay persons.
We invite papers that explore any of these aspects, e.g. the role of emotions in the circulation of spiritual ideas and practices between regions as well as across denominations; the emotional regime of religious education and the relationship to secular education; bodily expressions of spiritual identities; denominational rivalry and emotions, etc. The panel is open to scholars of both Islam and Christianity. Papers exploring Indian Ocean Islamic networks are equally welcome as are those focusing on Eastern/Central African expressions of Christianity, African initiated churches or other forms of spirituality.
Generally, the panel seeks to provide a wider understanding of the flow of spiritual ideas and practices and the role emotions play in these flows in the present and the past. German, English and French papers are welcome. The language of the panel will be English.