Posts Tagged ‘Zambia’

van Klinken, “Gay rights, the devil, and the end times”

January 13, 2014

van Klinken, Adriaan S. 2013. Gay rights, the devil, and the end times: public religion and the enchantment of the homosexuality debate in Zambia. Religion 43(4): 519-540.

Abstract: This article contributes to the understanding of the role of religion in the public and political controversies about homosexuality in Africa. As a case study it investigates the heated public debate in Zambia following a February 2012 visit by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who emphasised the need for the country to recognise the human rights of homosexuals. The focus is on a particular Christian discourse in this debate, in which the international pressure to recognise gay rights is considered a sign of the end times, and Ban Ki-moon, the UN and other international organisations are associated with the Antichrist and the Devil. Here, the debate about homosexuality becomes eschatologically enchanted through millennialist thought. Building on discussions about public religion and religion and politics in Africa, this article avoids popular explanations in terms of fundamentalist religion and African homophobia, but rather highlights the political significance of this discourse in a postcolonial African context.

Advertisements

van Klinken, “Imitation as Transformation of the Male Self How an Apocryphal Saint Reshapes Zambian Catholic Men”

June 11, 2013

van Klinken, Adriaan. 2013. Imitation as Transformation of the Male Self How an Apocryphal Saint Reshapes Zambian Catholic Men. Cahiers d’études africaines 1-2(209-210): 119-142.

Abstract: St Joachim, who according to the apocryphal Protoevangelium Jacobi is the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the patron saint of a Catholic Men’s Organization in Zambia which promotes him as model of Catholic manhood. Through a case study of this organization, this article explores the intersections of religion, men and masculinity in a contemporary African Catholic context, in relation to broader discussions on African masculinities. The focus is on the practice of imitation of St Joachim and its effects on masculinity as the symbolic, discursive and performative construction of embodied male gender identity. Two theoretical concepts inform the analysis, being the notion of imitation as a hermeneutical process and Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of the technologies or hermeneutics of the self. The article shows how a sacred text is mobilized and inspires a communal imitative practice through which men are shaped, and shape themselves, after a religious ideal of masculinity.

Haynes, “On the Potential and Problems of Pentecostal Exchange”

February 25, 2013

Hanyes, Naomi. 2013. “On the Potential and Problems of Pentecostal Exchange.” American Anthropologist 115(1):85-95.

Abstract: In this article, I draw on ethnography from the Zambian Copperbelt to examine the social productivity of the Pentecostal prosperity gospel, a Christian movement centered on the idea that it is God’s will for believers to be wealthy. In the light of the challenges that recent economic history has posed to Copperbelt relational life, Pentecostalism has become an important source of hierarchy—and, therefore, of social organization. This social productivity is evident in the complex patterns of exchange that emerge as believers make gifts to God and religious leaders. An analysis of Pentecostal exchange reveals that the hierarchical relationships forged through religious adherence are often in danger of being undermined by economic concerns, and prosperity gospel practice is therefore continually mobilized to protect these ties. In this discussion, I foreground the position of Pentecostalism among the repertoire of ideas, practices, and beliefs involved in negotiating social life in times of economic uncertainty.

Klinken, “Men in the Remaking: Conversion Narratives and Born-Again Masculinity in Zambia”

October 9, 2012

Klinken, Adriaan (2012) “Men in the Remaking: Conversion Narratives and Born-Again Masculinity in Zambia” Journal of Religion in Africa 42 (3): 215-239 

Abstract: The born-again discourse is a central characteristic of Pentecostal Christianity in Africa. In the study of African Christianities, this discourse and the way it (re)shapes people’s moral, religious, and social identities has received much attention. However, hardly any attention has been paid to its effects on men as gendered beings. In the study of men and masculinities in Africa, on the other hand, neither religion in general nor born-again Christianity in particular are taken into account as relevant factors in the construction of masculinities. On the basis of a detailed analysis of interviews with men who are members of a Pentecostal church in Lusaka, Zambia, this article investigates how men’s gender identities are reshaped by becoming and being born-again and how born-again conversion produces new forms of masculinity. The observed Pentecostal transformation of masculinity is interpreted in relation to men’s social vulnerability, particularly in the context of the HIV epidemic in Zambia.

Haynes, “Pentecostalism and the morality of money: prosperity, inequality, and religious sociality on the Zambian Copperbelt”

February 9, 2012

Haynes, Naomi (2012) “Pentecostalism and the morality of money: prosperity, inequality, and religious sociality on the Zambian Copperbelt” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18(1): 123-139.

Abstract

As part of a growing body of work focused on the social implications of Pentecostal Christianity, this article explores one of the ways that this religion is shaping relational life on the Zambian Copperbelt. Through a discussion of the changing nature of the prosperity gospel, I show how Pentecostalism embeds believers in social relationships that often extend beyond their religious cohort. In the absence of the lavish wealth promised by prosperity gospel preachers, Pentecostals have had to alter their understanding of divinely authored economic success. Specifically, local definitions of prosperity are characterized not by uniform, individualized wealth, but rather by progress along a gradient of material achievement through relationships that span differences in economic status. This retooled version of the prosperity gospel serves to integrate believers into the wider social world by emphasizing material inequality and promoting displays of wealth. Each of these aspects of Copperbelt Pentecostalism embeds its adherents in networks of exchange that are a central component of urban Zambian sociality. This analysis of Pentecostalism expands on studies of this religion that focus only on formal ritual life, while at the same time challenging interpretations of Pentecostalism that have given its social potential short shrift.

Résumé

Le présent article s’inscrit dans un corpus de plus en plus important de travaux consacrés aux implications sociales du christianisme pentecôtiste. Il explore l’une des manières dont cette religion façonne la vie relationnelle dans la province du Copperbelt, en Zambie. Par la discussion de la nature changeante de la théologie de la prospérité, l’auteure montre comment le pentecôtisme intègre ses fidèles dans des relations sociales qui s’étendent souvent au-delà des limites de leur communauté religieuse. Ne voyant pas venir l’abondance promise par les prédicateurs de la doctrine de la prospérité, les pentecôtistes ont dû revoir leur interprétation d’une réussite économique sanctionnée par Dieu. Plus précisément, les définitions locales de la prospérité sont caractérisées non pas par une possession de biens uniforme et individualisée mais plutôt par une progression suivant un gradient de réussite matérielle, par le biais de relations franchissant les différences de situation économique. Cette version remaniée de la théologie de la prospérité sert à intégrer les croyants dans le monde social qui les entoure, en mettant l’accent sur les inégalités matérielles et en encourageant les signes extérieurs de richesse. Chacun de ces aspects du pentecôtisme dans le Copperbelt intègre les fidèles dans des réseaux d’échange qui sont une composante essentielle de la société zambienne urbaine. L’analyse du pentecôtisme réalisée ici commente les études de cette religion axées uniquement sur le rituel, tout en remettant en question les interprétations faisant peu de cas du potentiel social du pentecôtisme.

%d bloggers like this: