Religious participation of Christians and muslims fostering mutual social trust in Nigeria? : an exploration theological study

Bandele, Oluwafemi Ayodele (2014-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Several disciplines and scholars in the interdisciplinary field of Missiology and Science of Religions are probing the concept of ‘mutual social trust’. This research provides an exploratory and descriptive study of 1,516 individual Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, with a focus on whether religious participation is fostering mutual social trust among the ‘religious Other’. This research engages Pew’s data to show the extent to which active religious participation in and outside Christian denominations and the Ummah (Muslim Community) in Nigeria fosters mutual social trust and the reasons for this. This is interpreted in order to find out if the results have implications and could be a catalyst for affirming and promoting the human dignity of the ‘religious other’. Statistical significance is an indicator of what respondents sometimes assume is expected of them (ideal situation), and hence, the reason why a practical significance compares statistics with praxis. The data is interpreted from a statistical and practical significance perspective. The first objective is to present similar research outputs, side by side, with how the data set used in this thesis has been investigated to address the research questions, hypotheses and research objectives. The second objective is to highlight areas of agreement, and if there are any discrepancies in the findings of this research, when compared to other studies. This study is an exploratory and descriptive research, which attempts to answer the questions such as “who, what, where, when or how and why?” A stratified random sample from all the seven geo-political regions, which are proportional to the population size and urban/rural population in Nigeria, was selected. One thousand five hundred and sixteen adults over the age of 18 years were interviewed by Pew Forum on ‘Religion and Public Life’, using English, Hausa, Yoruba and Pidgin languages. This sample was considered nationally representative of the Nigerian adult population. The findings indicate that a high level of uncertainty and tension exists among Christians and Muslims with regards to trusting one another in the Nigerian context. This kind of tension leads to violence and constant clashes, resulting in the kind of experiences between Muslim and Christians, recorded in recent times. The Muslims and Christians in Nigeria have had a long history of misunderstandings and through these collective learning processes; they have reached a point that the evolving and changing patterns of trust indicates their way of coping with the situation. Trust in this situation impacts on society as a “consensual reality,” which reflects on the group behavior. A new survival order is created, which makes the situation messy at times, and seemingly out of control. These findings support the notion that trust has an individual property and is also a social system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Verskillende dissiplines en akedemici in die interdissiplinêre veld van Missologie en wetenskap van Godsdienste is besig om die konsep van gemeenskaplike sosiale vertroue te ondersoek. Hierdie studie voorsien ondersoekende en beskrywende navorsing van 1,516 individuele Christene en Moslems in Nigerië met ‘n fokus op die deelname in godsdiens as ‘n middel om gemeenskaplike sosiale vertroue te kweek onder die “godsdienstige ander”. Statistiese beduidenheid is ‘n indikator van hoe respondente voel hulle moet optree (ideale situasie) en dit is hoekom dit prakties belangrik is om die statistieke te vergelyk met die praktyk. Die data is geinterpreteer vanaf ‘n statistiese en praktiese beduidenheidsperspektief. Die doelwit van hierdie studie is om die studiemateriaal sy aan sy weer te gee met die data middele wat gebruik is om die studievraag, die hipotese en die studie objektiewe te beantwoord. Die tweede doelwit is om die ooreenkomste en verskille van die navorsing se bevindinge te vergelyk met ander studies. Hierdie studie wat ondersoekend en ook beskrywend is, streef daarna om die vraag na wie, wat, waar, wanneer , hoe en hoekom te beantwoord. ‘n Multidemensionele, nie-geordende voorbeeld van al sewe geo-politieke areas wat in ooreenstemming is met die grotte van die kevolking en stedelike/landelike populasie in Nigerië, was gekies. Pew Forum het onder haude gevoer met een duisend vyf handerd en sestien volwassenes over as 18 ‘jaar oor ‘Godsdiens en die publieke lewe’ met die gebruik van Engels, Hausa, Yoruba and Pidgin tale. Hierdie proefneming was gevind as die algemene siening in Nigerië onder volwasenes. Die bevindinge het aangedui dat daar ‘n groot hoeveelheid onsekerheid en spanning onder die Christene en die Moslems in die Nigeriese konteks is, omdat hulle nie mekaar vertrou nie. Hierdie tipe spanning lei tot geweld en konstante konflik, wat oorloop tot die situasies wat onlangs deur die media gedokumenteer is. Die Moslems en Christene in Nigerië het ‘n lang geskiedenis van misverstande en deur hierdie gesamentlike leerproses het hulle ‘n punt bereik waar die groei en veranderende patrone van hulle vertroue hul eie manier van die situasie hantees, aandui. Vertroue in hierdie situasie oefen die rol van “ooreengekome realiteit” uit, wat die gedrag van die groep reflekteer. ‘n Nuwe oorlewings meganisme is geskep wat die situasie by tye chaoties laat lyk. Hierdie bevindinge bied ondersteuning dat vertroue ‘n individuele aspek bevat en ‘n sosiale systeem is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96127
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