Northwestern Events Calendar


The Separation (and Unification) of Yoruba Tradition and State: An Analysis of Indigenous Yoruba Articulations of Power, Politics, and Religion

When: Wednesday, May 10, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Scott Hall, 107, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cindy Pingry   (847) 467-1933

Group: Global Religion and Politics Research Group

Category: Academic


Please join the Global Religion and Politics Research Group for this talk with Ayodeji Ogunnaike (Bowdoin College)

Despite Nigeria carrying out a series several fairly peaceful and transparent national elections for the first time following years of military rule, participation rates in secular politics have been on a steady decline for twenty years. On the other hand, the indigenous Yoruba tradition of sacred kingship (ọba) that has existed for about a millennium has not faded into insignificance following colonialism and independence, as some predicted, but has gained more legitimacy and engagement with the public than secular politics. By engaging indigenous myths, rituals, and traditional offices, this talk examines how and why the Yoruba category of ẹsin (imperfectly translated as “religion”) offers a radical rearticulation of political and religious power (aṣẹ), identity, and activity that has proven itself to be so effective and powerful among the Yoruba that it was recreated in the Atlantic diaspora following the slave trade and enjoys greater support and public approval than modern state power in Nigeria today.

This is a hybrid event.  Please register for the Zoom link.


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