Religious Movements in Sub-Saharan Africa

Exploring Connections Between Religious and Civic Engagement

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As a visiting fellow at Notre Dame University, Elizabeth Sperber worked to explore how religious beliefs influence political and civic engagement. We believe the research and ingenuity achieved through collaborations with partners like Notre Dame is needed to work toward equity and justice.

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About the Project

The project drew on experimental data from Zambia, a majority Christian state currently experiencing democratic erosion. This constituted the first systematic consideration of the role of Christian traditions in regards to civic engagement in the region.

In partnership with the country's main religious organizations, including the Catholic, mainline Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, Sperber designed, implemented and studied a randomized civic engagement intervention. The study advanced understanding about how denominational contexts influence political attitudes and engagement in African politics.

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Elizabeth Sperber

An assistant professor of political science, Elizabeth Sperber's work specializes in comparative politics with regional expertise in sub-Saharan Africa.

Meet Elizabeth Sperber