David Amponsah

Photo Assistant Professor
Education: Ph.D., Harvard University
Interest: Indigenous Religions, Africa
Email: amponsahd@missouri.edu
Phone: 573-882-5692

I am a historian of religions in Africa and its diaspora. My teaching and research concerns are guided by an interest in exploring the ways in which religion engages with various human institutions. My current book project examines the currency of Indigenous religion on political, social, and moral formations in colonial and postcolonial Ghana. I am particularly interested in how statecraft has been enacted, contested, and negotiated through the state’s suppression and appropriation of Indigenous religion. This project highlights the inherent paradox in how the state morally and culturally stigmatized indigenous religious beliefs and practices, in an attempt to perform certain conceptions of “modernity” and Christian morality, yet, at the same time, appropriated indigenous religious rituals and symbols. This interdisciplinary work combines religious, cultural, and legal histories with analysis of indigenous epistemologies.

Apart from African religious history, my other research and teaching interests include Indigenous religions; African Diaspora (including African American) Religions; Religion and Colonialism; Christianity in the Global South; Religion and Cultures of Health and Healing; and the Anthropology of religion.

Teaching

  • 2100 Indigenous Religions