International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

The trajectories of culture, Christianity and socio-economic development in Vihiga District, Western Kenya

Susan M. Kilonzo
Department of Religion, Theology and Philosophy, Maseno University, Private Bag, 40105, Maseno-Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 December 2010
  •  Published: 28 February 2011



Culture is part and parcel of a community’s life irrespective of the repelling forces or demands from other social institutions, including the Church. However, some scholars have argued that the Church is a culture in itself (Clapp, 1996: 84). Subsequently, it should be considerate of other cultures around it. If the diverse cultures conflict due to the differing cultural views from the different groups, then ‘cultural wars’ are bound to emerge. The paper elaborates on the effects of harmonious existence of diverse culture to development as compared to the effects of conflicting cultures. The study was situated in Vihiga district of Western Kenya; a district with over 50 Christian denominations, besides other religious faiths. Only seven churches identified through purposive sampling formed the study group. One of the findings of the study was that, the consequences of defying churches’ cultures are manifested in the form of formation of independent movements in Africa commonly described as “places to feel at home” where people  can practice their cultures without hindrances. This is an indicator of Christian diversity which has affected development both positively and negatively.


Key words: Culture, Christianity, socio-economic, development.