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Dr. Genevieve Nrenzah

Dr. Genevieve Nrenzah
Research Fellow
Religions and Philosophy


Genevieve Nrenzah (PhD) is an African/Afro Diaspora indigenous religion(s) expert. She is currently a Research Fellow in the Religion and Philosophy Section of the Institute of African Studies. Prior to her present position she was a lecturer at Christ Apostolic University College in Kumasi. Her research and teaching interest are : Africa’s diverse indigenous religious beliefs and ceremonies and their extensions in the African Diasporas, old and new African, Religion, Women and culture, gender structures, Abrahamic religions, Religion and Economics, African popular culture, Sacred Spaces, Religion, Sexuality and Human rights, Witchcraft economy and Neo feminism in Ghana.

 Dr. Nrenzah is a Co-Editor of Contemporary Journal of African Studies and has researched comprehensively on Neo Indigenous priests and priestesses, goddesses in Pentecostal discourse and women in indigenous religions. She has professional affiliations with 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
  • Economics and Performances in African Religiosity.
  • Gender systems
  • Religion and Women
  • Indigenous knowledge structures
  • Popular culture
  • Abrahamic religions and African Culture
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Religion, Sexuality and Human Rights in Africa.

Current Research Activities

  • Sacralizing Natural Spaces in Ghana: Religious Competition and the Economics of Performance.
  • Engaging the Old Order in Contemporary Religious Traditions: The Neo Charismatic Prophets and Churches in Ghana.
  • Occult and Witchcraft Economy in Africa and the African Diaspora.
  • Neo feminism in Ghana.
  • Religion Sexuality and Human Rights in Africa.

Forthcoming 2018-Polished Violence: Changing Notions about the Spirituality of the Todↄlε (Vagina) in Popular Nzema Indigenous Religious Philosophy (A chapter contribution for a forthcoming edited volume on Religion, Immigration, Gender based violence and Human Right).

Forthcoming-(2019) Kofi oo Kofi: Building on Modernity, Religious Diversity and Constructing Neo-Indigenous Religions in Ghana. (A chapter contribution for a forthcoming book being edited by Magnus Echtler, Franz Kogelman and Eve Spies).

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).

Scholarly Presentations/Seminars and Conferences Attended

November 2018 “Doing Feminism on the Street: Religion, Culture, Perspectives and Neo Gender Groups in Ghana” paper presented at  BIGSAS Alumni Conference “The Future of African Studies Scholars in Africa and Abroad” in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 29 Oct-Nov 3 2018.

September 2018 Attended and participated in a Research workshop “Intersecting African, Queer and Religious Studies” University of Ghana, 20-21 September 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.

July 2013 “Performance in Indigenous Religions” University of Bayreuth, Germany. July 22 to 26, 2013.

November 2013 “Kofi oo Kofi: Building on modernity and internationalization of neo- indigenous religions in Ghana”. Paper presented at American Academy of Religions conference held in Baltimore-Maryland, USA.

November 2012 “Ghana’s New Indigenous Priests, and their Followers: Contemporary Developments on Ghana’s Religious Landscape. Paper presented at American Academy of Religions. Chicago-Illinois USA.

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