1 Kukah, Religion, Politics, and Power in Northern Nigeria; Falola, Vio lence in Nigeria.
2 Braudel, “Histoires et sciences sociales.”
3 Davidson, The African Genius.
4 For landmark anthropological and so cio logical studies that provided critical theo-
retical foundation for the study of religion in African socie ties immediately after
in de pendence in the 1960s, see Horton, “African Conversion”; Horton, “On the
Rationality of Conversion: Part One.” Horton, “On the Rationality of Conversion:
Part Two”; see also Peel, “Religious Change in Yorubaland”; Peel, “Conversion and
Tradition in Two African Socie ties.” For further anthropological analy sis in histori-
cal contexts, especially in a southern African experience, see Jean Comaroff and
John Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution. I would like to thank Deji Ogunnike
for sharing his superb knowledge on conversion from indigenous African religions
to world religions with me. My brief reference to the extensive scholarly discussions
on this subject by leading Africanists has more to do with the limited relevance of
this subject to my own interest at the intersection of religion and state making, and
does not do justice to Ogunnike’s critical insight on these impor tant works.
5 It is instructive to note that Robin Horton and John Peel were teaching as young
scholars at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria, when
they made their theoretical breakthroughs in the 1970s. Their theoretical works
were informed by a careful critique of the dominant anthropological scholarship
on African indigenous religions in the immediate postwar period. Their interdisci-
plinary works in the humanities and the social sciences drew on rigorous readings
of philosophical, anthropological, so cio logical, and historical studies, as well as on
extensive field research in Southern Nigerian communities.
6 Horton, “African Conversion,” “On the Rationality of Conversion: Part One,” and
“On the Rationality of Conversion: Part Two.”
7 Horton asserts that prior to the rapid social, economic, and po litical transforma-
tions of the nineteenth century, the worship of the “cult of the Supreme Being”
had been largely distant to most local people in their simple and isolated milieu in
earlier moments in history. See ibid.
8 Ibid.
9 Peel, Aladura.
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