National Unity: Secular or Pluralistic?

Conference to commemorate 65 Years of the Spirit of Bandung,


The University of Dar es Salaam (Society and Religion Research Centre, Department of Sociology and Anthropology) and Radboud University Nijmegen (Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, NIM Institute) call for submission of abstracts on “National Unity: Secular or Pluralistic?” 

After independence most “non-aligned” countries opted for philosophies of national unity to guarantee peace and stability. In the case of Tanzania, this philosophy (Ujamaa) was secular (a-religious, although Tanzania had a “civic religion”). In the case of Indonesia, this philosophy (Pancasila) was “pluralistic” (recognizing six “official” religions). In both countries, the philosophy of national unity is contested. 65 years later, the question is: what philosophy succeeded in promoting peace and stability? Are there comparable examples from other countries?

If you are interested in this conference please contact us via the contact form. 


Thomas J. Ndaluka (Ph.D)


SORRECE conducts research on the relation between society and religion in Tanzania.

* Religion and social cohesion in Tanzania.

* Religion and development in Tanzania.

* Religion and state in Tanzania. 

Presently we conduct research on Islamic Revivalism and Modes of Governance in Tanzania.


SORRECE offers post-graduate seminars on socio-scientific research on religious issues.


We collaborate with

* Centre for Studies in World Christianity and Interreligious Relations, Radboud University.

* Religion and Society Research Centre, University of Uppsala.

* Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa.

SORRECE represents the African Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) in Tanzania. See


Thomas Ndaluka, Religious Discourse, Social Cohesion and Conflict. Muslim-Christian Relations in Tanzania. Münster: LIT, 2012.

Thomas Ndaluka, Frans Wijsen eds., Religion and State in Tanzania Revisited. Reflections from 50 years of Independence. Münster: LIT Verlag, 2014.

Thomas Ndaluka, Social Cohesion and religious intolerance in Tanzania, in: R. Mukandala ed., The Political Economy of Change in Tanzania. Dar es Salaam: University Press, 2015, 35-54.

Ndaluka, Thomas. Is mimetic desire a root cause of religious violence in Tanzania? An analysis of Girardian – Mimetic Desire Theory. Tanzania Journal of Sociology. Volume 6, June 2020.

Frans Wijsen, Managing Religious Diversity in Tanzania, in E. Bongmba ed., Religion and Social Construction in Africa, London - New York: Routledge 2018, 311-328

Wijsen, Frans & Peter Mosha (2019). ‘BAKWATA is like a dead spirit to oppress Muslims’: Islamic revivalism and modes of governance in Tanzania. Utafiti. Journal of African Perspectives, 14 (2), 223-241. doi: 10.1163/26836408-14010013

Wijsen, Frans (2020). Beyond Global Apartheid. Polarization and (de)Radicalization in Tanzania. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2019.1676341

Mgumia, Jacqueline.Chuma Ulete as a Popularized Witchcraft Discourse in Small Businesses. Tanzania Journal of Sociology. Volume 6, June 2020: 80 – 101.

Mgumia, Jacqueline. Chuma Ulete: Business and Discourses of Witchcraft in Neoliberal Tanzania. Journal for the Study of Religion 33, 1 (2020).

Ndaluka, Thomas. Religious Radicalization in Africa today as a challenge to faith-based actors in different sociopolitical contexts. In J. Kambale J,, J. Motte, J. (2020)  Peace Among the People: Interreligious Action for Peace and Inclusive Communities, Solingen, Foedus Verlag, 2020.