Religious buildings and ideological conflicts

Broken religious sites and unbroken spatial attachments in Jos North, Nigeria

Authored by: Amidu Elabo

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Cities

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367367121
eBook ISBN: 9780429351181
Adobe ISBN:


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The material visibility of religious buildings on the urban landscape of the city of Jos North, Nigeria, not only tests the durability of the social diversity of its inhabitants but also seems to constitute the city’s defining elements. As it seems, the visible representations of these sites on the city’s physical and social landscapes now determine the level of power that each religious community wields over the “soul of the city.” This spatiality of religious buildings conditioned by different ideological claims and sentiments exemplifies very complex intra- and inter-faith relationships in the city that is beyond its economic, sociological, and political configuration. This chapter explores how religious buildings are both construed as sites for spatial dominance and used as ideological buffers against the so-called territorial expansion of the religious “other” in the urban center of Jos North, Nigeria.

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