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Dr. Genevieve Nrenzah

Research Fellow
Religions and Philosophy


Dr. Genevieve Nrenzah is a Research Fellow in the Religion and Philosophy Section of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. Her research and teaching interest include Africa's diverse indigenous religious beliefs and ceremonies and their extensions in the African Diasporas, Abrahamic religions, Religion and Economics, Sound/Music in Indigenous religions and Christianity, Sacred Spaces, Sexuality, Religion, and Human rights, Neo feminism in Ghana and Religion, Oil and the Beach Front.

Nrenzah is an editorial member of the Contemporary Journal of African Studies, Institute of African Studies (CJAS June 2018-Date), Editorial review board member- The journal of Black Women and Religious Cultures-- University of Minnesota Press. July 2021 to 2024 and Editorial Advisory Board member, Journal of Religion in Africa, --Brill. January 2022 - December 2024. She has professional affiliations with African Studies Association of Africa, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Missionswissenschaft, American Academy of Religions, Golden key International Honour Society and International Association for the History of Religions.


  • PhD in Religious Studies, Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, University of Bayreuth, Germany, 2015.
  • Masters in Religious Studies, Florida International University, Miami, USA, 2008.
  • Graduate Certificate in Women Studies, Florida International University, Miami, USA, 2008.
  • Bachelors in Political Science and Religion, University of Ghana, Legon, 2005.
  • Diploma in the Study of Religions from University of Ghana, Legon, 2002.
  • Certificate in Education from University of Cape Coast, Ghana. 1995.
Research Areas
  • Africa/African Diaspora Religions
  • Performances in African Religiosity.
  • Neo Feminism in Ghana
  • Music/Sound in Religious Traditions
  • Abrahamic religions and African Culture
  • Religion, Sexuality and Human Rights in Africa.

Current Research Activities

  • Human Rights Abuses in Ghanaian Pentecostalism funded by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 2021-2023.
  • A Social Study of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Atuabo, funded by the Oil and Gas Company Ghana. 2021-2023.
  • Other Universals:Theorizing from Post-colonial Locations on Politics and Aesthetics, funded by Mellon Foundation. (2019-2023)
  • Nrenzah, Genevieve. (2021) Doing Feminism on the Street: Culture, Media Perspectives, and Neo-Gender Groups in Ghana, Journal of Black Women and Religious Cultures, vol.2, no.2 Published by University of Minnesota Press.  
  • Nrenzah, G.  (2019). Sacralising Natural Spaces: Competitive Performances In Contemporary Ghanaian Religiosity, Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology Vol 9 No 1. 65-81
  • Nrenzah, G. (31 Aug 2020). Book review-- Pentecostal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria by Ebenezer Obadare, Canadian Journal of African Studies. ZED Publisher 2018.
  • Nrenzah, G.  (2019). Polished Violence: Changing Notions about the Spirituality of the Todↄlε (Vagina) in Popular Nzema Indigenous Religious Philosophy. Nyangweso M. and Olupona J.K. (eds), The Role of Religion, Gender-Based Violence, Immigration and Human Rights, Routledge:London. 195-206.
  • Nrenzah, G. (2019). Tapping the Powers of the Gods: Rituals, Sacrifices and Indigenous Religious Adherents” Interkulturelle Theologie / ZMiss.5-15.
  • Nrenzah, G. (2019, 30th April). [ Review of a book- Funeral Culture: AIDS, Work, and Culture Change in an African Kingdom], Reading Religion, A Bi-Weekly Newsletter Publication of American Academy of Religion. .
  • Nrenzah, G. (6 April 2018). Book review -- Funeral Culture: AIDS, Work, and Culture Change in an African Kingdom by Casey Golomski.  Indiana University Press. 54(2), pp. 364–365.
  • Nrenzah G. (2017, October 6). [ Review of the book Gestures and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo]. Reading Religion:  A Bi-Weekly Newsletter Publication of American Academy of Religion.
  • Nrenzah, G.  (2017, April 27). [Review of the book West Africa’s Women of God: Alinesitoue and the Diola Prophetic Tradition]. Reading Religion, A  Bi-Weekly Newsletter Publication of American Academy of Religion. 2(7).
  • Nrenzah, G. (2015). Modernizing Indigenous Priesthood and Revitalizing Old Shrines: Current Developments on Ghana’s Religious Landscape. Bayreuth, Germany: University of Bayreuth Publishing.
  • Nrenzah, G. (2015). Gender Dimensions of Wealth and Health in Ghanaian Indigenous Religious Thinking: Narratives of Female Clients of Pensam Shrine. In A. Heuser (Ed), Pastures of Plenty: Tracing Religio-Scapes of Prosperity Gospel in Africa and Beyond (pp.203-216). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Peter Lang, Berlin.
  • Nrenzah, G. (2013). Gatekeepers, Priests and Shrines – “accessing” an African Indigenous Religious Research Site.” In C.Hoffman, A. Heuser, and T. Walther (Eds), Empirische Zugange Zur Religionsforschung (pp. 267-280). Rosch-Buch, Schesslitz.
  • Nrenzah, G. (2009). Indigenous Religious Belief and Practice in Ghanaian Pentecostalism: The Mame Wata Healing Churches of Half Assini.”Making Waves, Journal for Women's Studies at Florida International University,  (7), (26-32).


  • Nrenzah, Genevieve. "Asantehene: The Making of Asanteman" to the upcoming edition of the Routledge Encyclopedia of African Studies, edited by Dr. Emmanuel Mbah and Dr. Toyin Falola. The entries are scheduled for publication in the forthcoming Online encyclopedia, Routledge Encyclopedia of African Studies. Taylor & Francis'. The ISBN for the Encyclopedia is 978-1-138-08104-8.
  • Nrenzah, Genevieve "Performances, Monetization and Power on Ghana’s Indigenous Religious field", Accepted for publication in the Journal of Contemporary African Studies. Routledge.
  • Nrenzah, Genevieve. “Competing with the Pentecostals: Building on Religious Diversity and Constructing Neo-Indigenous Religions in Ghana, Accepted for a Special Journal Issue in the Legon Journal of Humanities.
  • Nrenzah, Genevieve and Okyerefo, M. ‘Religion and Commodification: The Ghanaian Churches’ COVID-19 Economy, under review in the Journal of Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology.
  • Nrenzah, Genevieve. “Invalidating Indigenous Religious Traditions via Christianity: Popular Ghanaian Gospel Songs/Music” under review at the Oral Roberts University Journal of Theology.
Scholarly Presentations/Seminars and Conferences Attended
  • March 2021, Workshop on “De-centering American Religion”. Virtual 5-7 2021. I presented on Sankofa: Reconstructing the African identity.
  • April 2021, Other Universals Consortium Workshop, April 19th and 20th. I presented on Aesthetics, Capitalism and Religious Infrastructure in Ghana.
  • September 2021, The Grammar of the Spirit World in Pentecostalized Africa 2-6 September 2021.I presented a paper on “The grammar of sound (Music) in Ghana's Indigenous religions and Pentecostal traditions."
  • October 2021, 10th Virtual Bonn Humboldt Award Winners' Forum "Beethoven's 'Empire of the Mind': Artistic 'Effigies of the Ideal' and the Cultural Politics of Resistance Bonn, 20.–23. October 2021, 1 presented on “My Right ends at the Church Gate’: Examining Sexual Violence of Women in the Neo-Prophetic Ministries within the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches in Kumasi.
  • October 2021. Conference on Rituals, Emotions and Identities. Gender Roles and Gender Identity in early Christianity, the Greco-Roman World and contemporary Discourses.” 25-28th 2021 at the University of Rostock.
  • December 2021. Religion in Times of Transition: The Case of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa held at University of Bayreuth, Germany 17-18 December. I presented a paper on Religion and Commodification: The Ghanaian Churches' COVID-19 Economy.
  • October 2019 Modernity and the Production of (Ay?ne)Witchcraft Among Nzema’s: Contesting the Other was presented at the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) Third International Biennial Conference 2019 in Nairobi from 24-26 October 2019, at the United States International University-Africa.
  • November 2019 Witchcraft Economy Across Ghanaian Religious Traditions was presented at the RC22 Mid-Term Conference on Rethinking Religion in the Public Sphere in the 21st Century Global South. Held at the Cedi Complex, University of Ghana, Legon, from November14-18, 2019.
  • May 2019, Migration, Mobility and Forced Displacement, organized by Merian Advanced Institute of African Studies (MIASA), University of Ghana, Legon May 23-24 2019.
  • March 2019- ‘My Right ends at the Church Gate’: Examining Sexual Violence of Women in Ghanaian Pentecostal/charismatic churches. Princeton, USA.
  • December 2018 “Domination and Religious Resistance: An Ethno-Historical Account of Ghana’s Indigenous Religions” A paper presented at the All African Peoples Conference organized by Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. December 5-7 2018.
  • November 2018- Doing Feminism on the Street: Contemporary Feminist Groups in Ghana. A paper presented at Alumni Conference "The Future of African Studies Scholars in Africa and Abroad" in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Nov 1-3 2018.
  • June 2018 “Sacrilizing Natural Spaces in Ghana: Religious Competition and the Economics of Performance” A paper presented at an International Conference organized by the Department for the Study of Religions- university of Ghana. 20-22 June 2018.
  • October 2017 “Economic, Power, Pomp and Pageantry: Performances in Ghanaian Indigenous Religions” A paper presented at African Studies Association of Africa. October 12-14 2017 in Accra, Ghana.
  • October 2016 “Reflecting on the Spirituality of the Vagina and the Decline in its Fortunes in Nzema Religious and Popular Thinking,” Circle Conference, Accra, Ghana.
  • November 2013 “Internationalization of Ghanaian Indigenous Religions,” American Academic of Religions in November 2013 in Baltimore, USA.


  • African Popular Culture: Traditional Festivals and Funeral Ceremonies (UGRC)
  • Traditional Religions in Africa (Masters)