A new research institute for the advanced study of religion and society in Africa at the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra has been named for Yale professor, Lamin Sanneh. The institute was named to honor Professor Sanneh’s distinguished contribution to scholarship on the relationship of Islam and Christianity in Africa. Additionally, he taught at the University of Ghana from 1975 to 1978.
The new research center, which will be formally inaugurated in early 2020, will focus on designing research projects on various topics on religion and society in Africa, commission interfaith and inter-disciplinary teams of younger scholars to conduct the research, convene national, regional and international seminars/conferences to share findings, and to publish such findings for wider access.
Alhaji Mumuni Sulemana, head of department for the study of religions at the University of Ghana, Legon, stated that the university “attaches great importance to the Sanneh Institute for two reasons: First, the prospect of honoring Professor Lamin Sanneh and celebrating his association with the department in a permanent way; and second, the opportunities it would offer faculty and students to interact with a wider range of international scholars toward the production of knowledge in the pursuit of peaceful coexistence of believers of different religions, especially, Christianity and Islam in West Africa.”
“I accept with humility the naming of the institute after me but, more importantly, recognize, too, that the tribute proudly belongs with the West African tradition of neighborliness and hospitality that is a welcome challenge for study and reflection,” said Professor Sanneh.
Dr. Sanneh holds three positions at Yale University. He is the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale Divinity School, a professor of history, and the director of the Project on Religious Freedom and Society in Africa at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.
Dr. Sanneh holds a master’s degree from the University of Birmingham in England and a Ph.D. from the University of London. He is the author of twelve books the most recent being Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2007).