Charlotte Weber, M.A.

Charlotte Weber, M.A.

Johannisstr. 1
48143 Münster

T: +49 251 83-23344

  • Research Areas

    • Postcolonial & Gender Studies
    • Discourse analysis
    • Value Conflicts
    • African Studies (East Africa/Tanzania)
  • Doctoral Thesis

    Discourses on Gender, Sexuality and Family in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania

    Professor Dr. Ulrich Willems
    Doctoral Subject
    Targeted Doctoral Degree
    Dr. phil.
    Awarded by
    Department 06 – Education and Social Studies


    In January 2010, the bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) published the so-called Dodoma Declaration, in which they strictly opposed the blessing and marriage of homosexual couples, declaring them incompatible with biblical teaching and incompatible with Tanzanian/African values and traditions. The Dodoma Declaration caused great unrest in the Lutheran World Federation, although a schism was avoided. Similar discussions have also occurred in other African mainline churches over the past twenty years. Public discussions about homosexuality have only been taking place in African churches, as well as in politics, for about 25 years, since the 1990s. The discourse has intensified since its first appearance in Tanzania, both in tone and in the actual persecution of sexual minorities. Politicians and church leaders can base their positions on the support of the population: According to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center, 95 % of all Tanzanians reject homosexuality. In the positions of the ELCT, one motif appears again repeatedly: Homosexuality is rejected as part of a "Western" modernity perceived as immoral and brought into contrast with indigenous Tanzanian-African traditions . Church leaders of other denominations and religions in Tanzania, as well as politicians of all parties, also use this line of argument. Typically, they claim that homosexuality is "un-African" and "un-Tanzanian".

    The aim of the planned dissertation is to identify and analyze these discourses around homosexuality in ELCT on their different levels, with their different motives and with regard to their different contexts, and thus to explain the occurrence and hegemonic enforcement of one or more of these discourses. This project is highly relevant because this discourse is part of a global conflict in which queer lifestyles are increasingly politicized and political discussions on LGBTQ* rights are religionized. It is important to also consider the historical (post-)colonial context. In the case of Tanzania, it was initially the German colonial rule that installed the criminalization of same-sex relationships.

  • CV


    M.A. Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin
    Awarded Scholarships: German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Protestant Academic Foundation "Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst"
    B.A. Governance and Public Policy at the University of Passau


    Research assistant at the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" at the WWU Münster
    Research Assistant at the Institut für Kirche und Gesellschaft (Institute for Church and Society
    Research Assistant at the Department of Modern European History at the Fernuniversität Hagen

    External Functions

    "Graduate School Politics" (GraSP) at the University of Münster (Member)
    Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" (Member of the "Commission for Equal Opportunities and Diversity" as elected representative for the Cluster's doctoral program)
    Member of the working group 'Religion and Gender' at the 'Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft'
    Member of the Board of Directors at the Cluster of Excellence 'Religion and Politics' as elected spokesperson of the Doctoral Programme
  • Publications


    Research Articles (Journals)
    • Weber, Charlotte. . „Das diskursive Erbe deutscher protestantischer Missionare in Debatten um Homosexualität in der Lutherischen Kirche Tansanias: „Volksgewissen“ oder „Teufelssittlichkeit“?Revue d’Allemagne et des pays de langue allemande 53, No. 2: 485–501. doi: 10.4000/allemagne.2879.
    Research Article (Book Contributions)
    • Weber, Charlotte. . „»Die geschmacklose und skandalöse Frage der gleichgeschlechtlichen Ehe«. Die Lutherische Kirche in Tansania und die Kontroverse um Homosexualität.“ In Ledas Federlesen. Ansätze einer kritischen Genderforschung zu Religion, herausgegeben von Benedikt Bauer / Anna-Katharina Höpflinger, 81–93. Göttingen: V&R unipress.
    • Dymarz, M., Klinkenborg, H., Weber, C. . „'Engagiert in Vielfalt' – Ehrenamtliches Engagement in der Flüchtlingshilfe Nordrhein-Westfalens.“ In Integration im Sozialraum, herausgegeben von Jepkens K., Scholten L., van Rießen A., 401–417. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

    Other Publications

    Other Scientific Publications
    Other Non-Scientific Publications
  • Scientific Talks

    • Weber, Charlotte (): ‘Fire hazard or lightening rod? Dynamics between the Lutheran Church and the government in Tanzania in debates on homosexuality ’. ECPR General Conference, Charles University Prague , .
    • Weber, Charlotte (): ‘Performing Moral Authority - The Tanzanian Lutheran Church as a Political Actor in Discourses on Homosexuality’. European Conference on Politics and Gender (European Consortium for Political Research - Standing Group on Gender and Politics), University of Ljubljana, .
    • Weber, Charlotte (): ‘"These days, we should send our missionaries to Europe" - Tanzanian Lutheran Counter Narratives to Homonationalism’. 11th European Feminist Research Conference (ATGENDER – The European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation), University of Milano-Bicocca, .
    • Weber, Charlotte (): ‘Stuck in the Middle - Relationality in the Lutheran Tanzanian Position on Homosexuality’. XXXIV. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft. Panel '(Post)Secular Africa?' , Leipzig (Digital), .
    • Weber, Charlotte (): „10 Years After the 'Dodoma Statement': Religion, Gender and Nation in Discourses on Homosexuality in the Lutheran Church of Tanzania“. (Ge)Schlechte(r) Religionswissenschaft!? Multidisziplinäre Ansätze einer kritischen Genderforschung zu Religion. Gründungstagung des Arbeitskreises Gender und Religion (DVRW) (AK Gender der DVRW), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, .