International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Practicing Civil Religion in Uhuru Kenyatta’s First Term Pentecostalized Presidency in Kenya
Bramwel N. Matui

There has been a debate on the presence of civil religion within the United States and it is argument seemed to point to the conclusion that this type of religion serves as a cohesive force in a nation of diverse ethno-national backgrounds. Such a stance posits a question of whether this kind of scenario could be extended to other states that are afflicted by ethnicity and rival ethnic affiliations. In this paper, I examine this concept and explore its applicability to a country like Kenya at a time when President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto were publicly active adherents of Pentecostal theology leading to what was dubbed as the Pentocostalization of the presidency. Examining this borderline case using Hart’s fourfold criteria of rhetorical contract(guise of separation, guise of equality, appropriate language, and safeguarding contract terms),reveals that civil religion as is conceived in American society- although violated during the Bush Presidency 2001-2009- was practiced in Uhuru’s Presidency-implying that it is possible for the leading state politicians to affiliate closely with a sectarian religious theology without violating the ethos of civil religion.

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