Aids and Religious Practice in Africa

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This volume explores how AIDS is understood, confronted and lived with through religious ideas and practices, and how these, in turn, are reinterpreted and changed by the experience of AIDS. Examining the social production, and productivity, of AIDS - linking bodily and spiritual experiences, and religious, medical, political and economic discourses - the papers counter simplified notions of causal effects of AIDS on religion (or vice versa). Instead, they display people’s resourcefulness in their struggle to move ahead in spite of adversity. This relativises the vision of doom widely associated with the African AIDS epidemic; and it allows to see AIDS, instead of a singular event, as the culmination of a century-long process of changing livelihoods, bodily well-being and spiritual imaginaries.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004164000
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/23/2009
  • Series: Studies of Religion in Africa Series, #36
  • Pages: 407
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Felicitas Becker (PhD, Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of African History at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. She has written 'Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania, 1890-2000' (OUP, 2008), and articles in the Journal of African History, Journal of Global History and African Affairs a.o. Currently, she is researching the history of writing in the Swahili and Portuguese languages in Africa, and the role of audiotapes among Islamists in East Africa.
Wenzel Geissler is a social anthropologist at the London School of Hygiene and the Institute of Social Anthropology in Oslo. He has published on health and body in Africa and on kinship, memory and change in Kenya. Presently he conducts ethnographic fieldwork on medical research in Kenya, and works with the London-based Research Group for the Anthropology of African Biosciences. With Ruth Prince he wroteThe land is dying - contingency, creativity and conflict in western Kenya, (Berghahn).
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Table of Contents

Introduction Searching for Pathways in a Landscape of Death: Religion and AIDS in Africa Felicitas Becker Becker, Felicitas P. Wenzel Geissler Geissler, P. Wenzel 1

New Departures in Christian Congregations of Long Standing

The Rise of Occult Powers, AIDS and the Roman Catholic Church in Western Uganda Heike Behrend Behrend, Heike 29

Christian Salvation and Luo Tradition: Arguments of Faith in a Time of Death in Western Kenya Ruth Prince Prince, Ruth 49

The New Wives of Christ: Paradoxes and Potentials in the Remaking of Widow Lives in Uganda Catrine Christiansen Christiansen, Catrine 85

Convergences and Contrasts in Muslims' Responses

AIDS and the Power of God: Narratives of Decline and Coping Strategies in Zanzibar Nadine Beckmann Beckmann, Nadine 119

Competing Explanations and Treatment Choices: Muslims, AIDS and ARVs in Tanzania Felicitas Becker Becker, Felicitas 155

'Muslims Have Instructions': HIV/AIDS, Modernity and Islamic Religious Education in Kisumu, Kenya Jonas Svensson Svensson, Jonas 189

Pentecostal Congregations Between Faith Healing and Condemnation

'Keeping Up Appearances': Sex and Religion amongst University Students in Uganda Jo Sadgrove Sadgrove, Jo 223

Healing the Wounds of Modernity: Salvation, Community and Care in a Neo-Pentecostal Church in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania Hansjorg Dilger Dilger, Hansjorg 255

Gloves in Times of AIDS: Pentecostalism, Hair and Social Distancing in Botswana Rijk van Dijk van Dijk, Rijk 283

Anti-Retroviral Treatment: Failures and Responses

Leprosy of a Deadlier Kind: Christian Conceptions of AIDS in the South African Lowveld Isak Niehaus Niehaus, Isak 309

Subjects ofCounselling: Religion, HIV/AIDS and the Management of Everyday Life in South Africa Marian Burdiardt Burdiardt, Marian 333

Therapeutic Evangelism - Confessional Technologies, Antiretrovirals and Biospiritual Transformation in the Fight against AIDS in West Africa Vinh-Kim Nguyen Nguyen, Vinh-Kim 359

Conclusion John Lonsdale Lonsdale, John 379

Notes on Contributors 385

Index 389

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