Rosalind I.J. Hackett
As SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN INTERESTED for a number of years in religion and social change, particularly in the African context, my attention has focused increasingly on the ways in which traditional religion has adapted to the pressures of modernity. 1 It is well documented that traditional religions suffer institutional decline and diminishing appeal in the face of modernization.In this paper I intend to examine some of the ways in which traditional religious beliefs and practices have found new forms of expression and new avenues of survival in the modern world and study the processes whereby traditional religion remains a cultural, political, economic, and religious force.
These processes, to which I am referring generally as revitalization processes, 2 and which normally lead to some form of continuity and survival (which I shall discuss in the latter part of this paper), I have identified as follows: universalization, modernization, commercialization, politicization, and individualization. (It goes without saying that in reality there may be overlap between the various categories.) I propose