Three Questions to Dr. Chikas Ishaku Tsilpi

Religiosity on Campus: A study of Charismatic Christian and Muslim Groups in Selected Universities in Northern Nigeria

Universities in northern Nigeria are witnessing a proliferation of Charismatic Christian and Muslim groups. These groups, which usually serve as platforms for spiritual strengthening and reawakening, also provide spaces for social interactions and political mobilization. Consequently, the increased presence of these groups is changing the dynamics of the religious and secular spaces on University campuses across northern Nigeria. This situation raises questions on religiosity and how it provides meaning for everyday life and interaction among Christian and Muslim students. The paper therefore, interrogates the phases of change characterizing the emergence of Pentecostal and Salafi Groups on the University of Jos campus. Based on in-depth empirical research, the paper particularly examines the role of religiosity on the academic, social and political lives of Christian and Muslim students. It further interrogates some of the factors accounting for the surge in the presence of Charismatic Christian and Muslim groups as well as the policies regulating their activities on Campus. The paper argues that the emergence of charismatic groups existing side by side with more traditional groups like the Fellowship of Christian Students and Muslim Students Society indicates a religious denominational competition for space, which sometimes leads to clashes, as each group seeks to express its presence and compete for membership. Furthermore, because of their charismatic and innovative disposition, these groups are very attractive to students, leading some to renounce western education in search of more spiritual knowledge. 

Dr. Chikas Danfulani Tsilpi
Department of Religion and Philosophy
University of Jos, Nigeria

Religiosity on Campus: A study of Charismatic Christian and Muslim Groups in Selected Universities in Northern Nigeria

On September 8, 2022, our guest Chikas Ishaku Tsilpi gave a presentation on “Religiosity on Campus: A study of Charismatic Christian and Muslim Groups in Selected Universities in Northern Nigeria.”

Abstract

Universities in northern Nigeria are witnessing a proliferation of Charismatic Christian and Muslim groups. These groups, which usually serve as platforms for spiritual strengthening and reawakening, also provide spaces for social interactions and political mobilization. Consequently, the increased presence of these groups is changing the dynamics of the religious and secular spaces on University campuses across northern Nigeria. This situation raises questions on religiosity and how it provides meaning for everyday life and interaction among Christian and Muslim students. The paper therefore, interrogates the phases of change characterizing the emergence of Pentecostal and Salafi Groups on the University of Jos campus. Based on in-depth empirical research, the paper particularly examines the role of religiosity on the academic, social and political lives of Christian and Muslim students. It further interrogates some of the factors accounting for the surge in the presence of Charismatic Christian and Muslim groups as well as the policies regulating their activities on Campus. The paper argues that the emergence of charismatic groups existing side by side with more traditional groups like the Fellowship of Christian Students and Muslim Students Society indicates a religious denominational competition for space, which sometimes leads to clashes, as each group seeks to express its presence and compete for membership. Furthermore, because of their charismatic and innovative disposition, these groups are very attractive to students, leading some to renounce western education in search of more spiritual knowledge.

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