Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

The Church and AIDS in Africa: The Politics of Ambiguity

Amy S. Patterson
The Church and AIDS in Africa: The Politics of Ambiguity
ISBN: 978-1-935049-04-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-122-4
2011/238 pages/LC: 2011005681
A FirstForumPress Book
A related title: The Politics of AIDS in Africa by Amy S. Patterson
"In her comprehensive research across the sub-continent, Patterson draws a multi-dimensional complex picture which defies simple stereotypes or generalizations."—Kari Hartwig, African Affairs

"Insightful and thought-provoking."—Jeremy Youde, Perspectives on Politics

"Welcome and long-overdue…. A carefully documented and clear examination of the range of church responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis."—Patricia Siplon, Saint Michael's College

"A clear and insightful analysis of the church's involvement in the fight against HIV and AIDS."—Elias Bongmba, Rice University


Situating her analysis squarely within the context of debates about the role of religion in African politics and society, Amy Patterson systematically analyzes the efforts (and sometimes lack of effort) of Christian churches in shaping HIV/AIDS policy.

Patterson considers how theological worldviews, material resources, historical interactions with the state, and global networks influence church advocacy on AIDS. She is particularly interested in why various churches have responded in such differing ways to the political questions associated with the AIDS epidemic. With the issue of AIDS as a focal point, she offers a cross-national, critical analysis of Christian church mobilization in Africa.


Amy S. Patterson is professor of political science at University of the South. She is author of The Politics of AIDS in Africa and editor of The African State and the AIDS Crisis.


  • AIDS and Christianity in Africa.
  • Church Responses to the AIDS Epidemic.
  • Resources and Choices.
  • Power and Subversion in Church-State Relations.
  • The Diverse Influences of Global Connections.
  • AIDS, Churches, and Africa’s Future.