Presidential Address: Embracing the Secular in our ‘Sacred Scholarly World’
In this Address, I reflect on the journey of AFAM with regard to its past, present and future. As a new scholarly community, AFAM is called to the sacred society. Its future therefore should be based on the use of the legitimacy associated with that calling to enact its strategic role – facilitating transformation of African societies – by assuming the paramount duty of parrhesia. As a parrhesiatic organization, AFAM has to engage in value-creating practices through its discourses so that it can endow Africans with the right and ability to speak. These value-creating practices are means by which AFAM moves beyond its sacredness to the secular context of Africa. Unlike other scholarly communities, AFAM does not have the luxury of not ‘unliving’ the African challenge; it has a sacred duty to help provide a different and new living to Africans than the one they are currently experiencing.