“I believe that there is a need for academics to give more voice to marginalised groups that, especially in the Global South, find very little public representation and spaces to express themselves. For several years I have been working on the role that religion and religious groups can have in helping or hindering marginalised and vulnerable groups in South Africa and in Uganda; these are voices to be heard and stories to be told.”
Barbara Bompani is a reader in African and International Development at the University of Edinburgh, where she heads up the Centre of African Studies. Since 1999, she has been working in South Africa on religious organisations and Faith-based Organisations (FBOs). Her research focuses on the dialectic relationship between faith organisations, their activities and socio-political action; the production of knowledge around faith, development and the relationship between civil society, society and politics; and the broader scale dynamics of political transformation taking place in South Africa after the end of Apartheid. She has also been involved in a research project looking at the role of Christian churches in Kenya and their role in promoting biotechnology and development.
Between 2009 and 2011 she worked on a research project that analysed the role of FBOs in South Africa to support non-citizens during the xenophobic attacks in Spring 2008 and the Churches’ critical voice of State intervention. In 2012 she was awarded a Leverhulme grant to investigate the role of Pentecostal Charismatic Churches in framing the public and political discourse around morality, sexuality and nationhood in Uganda. This was a two-year project that has run between August 2012 and July 2014. She is currently penning a monograph and several articles on the topic.
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