Whether one professes faith or not, religious belief provides guidance for billions of people worldwide. In Africa, where the spiritual landscape is complex, Islam, Christianity, other world religions, and new syncretic faiths coexist with long-standing indigenous beliefs. Global faiths often compete with local ones for believers, but many Africans find room to accommodate beliefs from different religions rather than holding or converting exclusively to one.
Believing Africa draws largely on the collections of the Haffenreffer Museum to investigate the diversity and dynamic nature of African beliefs. It explores how Africans, today and in the past, have called on different religious traditions for meaning and answers to enduring existential questions about sickness and well-being, wealth and poverty, war and peace, power and helplessness, birth, death, and what is perceived to lie beyond.
The Believing Africa exhibition occupied the HMA on-campus gallery at Manning Hall from May 2006 through March 2010