The Political Economy of Heaven and Earth in Ghana (Paperback)
In March 2017, the president of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufu announced his intention to build a national cathedral to the people of Ghana. The announcement elicited watertight counter arguments that morphed into two a priori re-litigated assumptions: First, Ghana is a secular country and second, religion and state formation are incompatible. Informed by a frustrating paradox of an overwhelming religious presence and concurrent pervasive corruption in the country, public conversation reached a cul-de-sac of "conviction without compromising." In The Political Economy of Heaven and Earth in Ghana, Charles Prempeh deploys the national cathedral as an entry point to provide both interdisciplinary and autoethnographic understanding of religion and politics. The book shows the capacity of religion, when properly cultivated and curated as a worldview to answer the why questions of life, will foster personal, moral, collective and ontological responsibility. All this is needed to stem the tide against corruption, commodity fetishism, environmental degradation (illegal mining-galamsey), heritage destruction and religious exploitation. Prempeh recuperates a historical fact about the mutual inclusivity between religion and politics-politics helping to manage differences, while religion provides a transcendental reason for unity to be forged for human flourishing. Separating the two is, therefore, ahistorical and an obvious threat to the intangible virtues that answers, "why and how" questions for public governance.
DR CHARLES PREMPEH is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Cultural and African Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. He holds a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK, since 2021. Before Cambridge, he obtained B.A. African Studies (First Class Division) from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana in 2008; MPhil African Studies from the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana in 2011, where he was also awarded the prestigious Agyeman-Duah Award in 2010 for academic excellence. Prempeh has researched and published extensively on various aspects of society in Ghana.