Ethics and Society in Nigeria

Ethics and Society in Nigeria

Identity, History, Political Theory

Nimi Wariboko


University of Rochester Press



Offers a radical political interpretation of history that generates fresh insights into the emancipatory potential of ordinary Nigerians and their precolonial cultural institutions
This pathbreaking book constructs a socio-ethical identity of Nigeria that can advance its political development. Its method is based on the rediscovery of the practices and principles of emancipatory politics and a retrieval of fundamental virtues and capabilities that go to the core of the functioning of pluralistic communities. Ethics and Society in Nigeria: Identity, History, Political Theory critically engages history, myth, political philosophy, and religion to demonstrate that Nigeria has an unfolding historic identity that can serve as a resource for sustaining increasing levels of human flourishing and democratic republicanism.

Located at the intersection of history and political theory, this work identifies the nature of Nigeria's moral problem, forges the political-theoretic discursive framework for a robust analysis of the problem, and shows a pathway out of the nation's predicament. This three-pronged approach is founded on the retrieval of moral exemplars from the past and critical engagement with history as a social practice, philosophical concept, discipline of study, form of social imaginary, and witness of the flows of contemporary events. Using this methodology, author Nimi Wariboko analyzes various forms of political, religious, and revolutionary identities that have been put forth by different groups in the country and then examines their usefulness for the transformation of Nigeria's problematic socio-ethical identity.

NIMI WARIBOKO is the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics at Boston University. He is the author of Nigerian Pentecostalism, available from University of Rochester Press.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787444614), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


March 2019
240 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora
ISBN: 9781580469432
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC REL029000, SOC002010, HIS001050
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Dead Gods, Divine Kings, and Deadly Politicians
The Emergence of the Lotus-Self: Personhood and Identity
Dead Gods and People's Revolt: Political Theory in Religious Act
Divine King and His Five Bodies: Living History and the Logic of Interreligious Dialogue
Governance and Deadly Politicians: History as Cultural Criticism
History Without Force: Finding Present Space and Place of Time
Constructing Nigeria's Greatness: Neglected Paths of Community, Narratives, and Care of the Soul
Mythos, Virtues, and National Transformation
African Traditional Religion and Critical Theory: A Framework for Social Ethics

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