More Information
ISBN: 9781839737923
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 20
Publication Date: 30/09/2023
Pages: 374
Language: English

Religion, Leadership and Development

A Sustainable Transformational Approach


Political, economic and military powers have woefully failed in their attempts to transform societies around the world, particularly in the African context. As poverty, corruption, and bad leadership continue to pervade nations and undermine human flourishing, the global community needs to respond with creativity, innovation and collaboration.

Drawing on empirical research and utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that engages both development and theology, this study explores the church’s role – both spiritual and pragmatic – in facilitating societal transformation in African countries, specifically Nigeria. The power of religion is often overlooked within development frameworks, but is a profoundly significant resource. Highlighting the importance of ecclesiastical leadership in mobilizing religious communities to partner with sociopolitical and economic institutions, Dr. Obaji Agbiji argues for a development framework that recognizes religious practitioners as indispensable partners in the quest for societal transformation.

Offering insight for both scholars and practitioners, this sustainable transformative approach to development bridges the gap between theory and practice and challenges church and civil leadership to take concrete steps to combat societal ills and see nations transformed for the better.

Author Bios


Obaji Agbiji’s book fills a yawning gap in the practice and literature on Christianity in Nigeria. It addresses how the Nigerian church can contribute more meaningfully to the sociopolitical and economic transformation of its society. Following an analysis that is set within an empirical-theological methodology, this book displays brilliance not only in social ethics but also in developmentstudies. Agbiji performs the analytical, descriptive and historical tasks of this book with panache, perspicacity and profundity of knowledge.

Nimi Wariboko, PhD
Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics
Boston University, Massachusetts, USA

This book places the importance of a conscious, development-oriented ecclesiastical leadership at the centre of its consideration of the institutional church’s authentic role in development in contemporary Nigeria. Although this contribution steers towards the contemporary Nigerian context, the book offers theoretical insight and perspective that are undoubtedly relevant to a wider theology and development scholarship concerned with other African contexts and beyond.

Ignatius Swart, PhD
Professor and Head of Department, Religion and Theology,
University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Obaji Agbiji’s thorough and concise research in Religion, Leadership and Development represents a critical front in scholarship aimed at constructing robust theological reflection for the express purpose of a flourishing creation. Sadly, some theological reflection is too myopic to tackle the stuff of real existence.But that is not the case here. The author has set the table for a reimagined vision for the flourishing of all of creation with God at its centre and it is a project I can get behind.

A. J. Swoboda, PhD
Associate Professor of Bible, Theology and World Christianity,
Bushnell University, Oregon, USA

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Acronyms/Abbreviations
  3. Chapter 1
    Research Focus and Outline
    1. 1.1 Introduction
    2. 1.2 Background to the Study
    3. 1.3 Motivation for the Study
    4. 1.4 Problem Statement
    5. 1.5 Research Questions
    6. 1.6 Goals of the Study
    7. 1.7 Research Paradigm
    8. 1.8 Research Design
    9. 1.9 Research Methodology
    10. 1.10 Significance of the Study
    11. 1.11 Delimitation of the Study
    12. 1.12 Definition of Key Terms
    13. 1.13 Chapter Outline
  4. Chapter 2
    Meanings and Implications of Development in Postmilitary Nigeria
    1. 2.1 Introduction
    2. 2.2 The Meanings of Development
    3. 2.3 Development Trends in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa
    4. 2.4 The Quest for an African and Nigerian Model of Development
    5. 2.5 The Challenges of Nigerian and African Development
    6. 2.6 Assessing Developmental Trends in Postmilitary Nigeria
    7. 2.7 Conclusion
  5. Chapter 3
    Meanings and Implications of Leadership in Postmilitary Nigeria
    1. 3.1 Introduction
    2. 3.2 The Meaning of Leadership
    3. 3.3 Conceptualising Leadership
    4. 3.4 Leadership in the African Context
    5. 3.5 Leadership in Precolonial Nigerian Societies
    6. 3.6 Leadership in the Colonial Era
    7. 3.7 Leadership in Postcolonial (Independent) Nigeria
    8. 3.8 Leadership during the Military Era
    9. 3.9 Leadership in Postmilitary (Democratic) Nigeria
    10. 3.10 The Importance of Leadership in Development andSocial Transformation
    11. 3.11 Conclusion
  6. Chapter 4
    Social and Theological Analysis of Church Leadership Discourse in Postmilitary Nigeria
    1. 4.1 Introduction
    2. 4.2 The Public Role of the Church
    3. 4.3 Social Analysis of Church Leadership Discourse
    4. 4.4 Theological Analysis of the Church Leadership Discourse
    5. 4.5 Conclusion
  7. Chapter 5
    Dissemination and Reflection on Empirical Study
    1. 5.1 Introduction
    2. 5.2 Empirical Study
    3. 5.3 Conclusion
  8. Chapter 6
    A Sustainable Transformational Approach to Development in Postmilitary Nigeria
    1. 6.1 Introduction
    2. 6.2 Sustainable Transformational Development.
    3. 6.3 Development-Oriented Church Leadership as a Vital Component of Sustainable Transformational Development in Nigeria
    4. 6.4 Conclusion
  9. Chapter 7
    Development-Oriented Church Leadership in Postmilitary Nigeria: Perspectives, Conclusion and Recommendations
    1. 7.1 Introduction
    2. 7.2 Development-Oriented Church Leadership in PostmilitaryNigeria: Perspectives
    3. 7.3 Conclusion and Recommendations
  10. Appendix
    Questionnaire to Leaders of National CAN/ CAN Bloc/LPC
  11. Bibliography

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