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Title: Reflections on the Influence of Religion on Field Cultivation in Southern Central Niger
Authors: HEISS, Jan Patrick
Keywords: Field cultivation
Issue Date: Sep-2019
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 58
Start page: 21
End page: 54
Abstract: Anthropologists have addressed the question as to if and how religious beliefs and practices influence work processes and this has also been a persistent undercurrent in the ethnographic literature on Niger and on the Hausa people. In this article, I will review the contributions to this topic. Studies show that religion might influence other societal fields, among them work practices, in several ways. This provides the background for my own case study. I will discuss this topic with respect to field cultivation in southern central Niger. My case study suggests that religion indeed influences work processes in our region of interest, even though in subtle ways. My case study also makes the discussion of the influence of magic and religion on work processes more differentiated. As I will show, the peasants hold beliefs in the intervention of supernatural entities and forces, these beliefs provide them with a variety of perspectives onto the work process and we could expect each of these perspectives to have different consequences for the work process. This flexibility of perspectives, it seems to me, has not been addressed in earlier studies. At the same time, the way religion influences field cultivation in our region of interest proves to be very different from the way Luther and Calvin were thought to have shaped work processes in Western society.
Rights: Copyright by The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, September 1, 2019.
DOI: 10.14989/244118
Appears in Collections:58(Agricultural Practices, Development and Social Dynamics in Niger)

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