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Judith Bachmann

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Location: Heidelberg, Germany

Institution: Heidelberg University

Contact: E-Mail

I am a PhD student with the Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology in the Faculty of Theology, the University of Heidelberg.

I am currently working on my PhD project about Witchcraft Concepts among Christians and Muslims in Ibadan, Nigeria. Most times, witchcraft is linked to African Traditional Religion (ATR), even among the Yoruba in Ibadan. However, ATR official and exclusive adherence in Ibadan has been shrinking to the brink of extinction between the 1920s and the 1950s. During the same time, more people than ever before identified themselves as either Christian or Muslim. It was that time frame that aje (Yoruba for witchcraft) became an issue. When an unprecedented number of Ibadan people converted to Christianity in the Aladura (Yoruba for Indigenous Churches) Revival in the early 1930s, aje was referred to as evil and many were delivered from it. In the early 1950s, the Alatinga, a group of witch-hunters from Dahomey, came to Southwestern Nigerian towns like Ibadan to seek out aje. They were supported by many Yoruba Christians and Muslims who thought of the cult's deity as a God-sent angel. These highlights of Southwestern Nigerian religious history show that aje has long become a subject-matter in Yoruba Christianity and Islam.

Last papers: "Witchcraft Concepts in West-African Pentecostal Literature" (GloPent, London 5-6 September 2014); "Religious Change, Conversion Narratives and the Shape-Shifting of Witchcraft" (ASSOSER, Ibadan 15-17 May 2016). Prospective papers: "Shape-Shifting of Witchcraft, Islam and Pentecostalism" (GloPent, Uppsala 10-11 June 2016).

Topics of interest: Pentecostalism in Nigeria, Islam in Southwestern Nigeria, Interreligious Relations in Southwestern Nigeria, Religion and Politics in Nigeria, ATR and Governance in Nigeria.

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