Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal for the Study of Religion]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1011-760120200001&lang=en vol. 33 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b><i>Chuma Ulete: </i>Business and Discourses of Witchcraft in Neoliberal Tanzania</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012020000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The private business sector has been expanding rapidly in urban Tanzania since the country started liberalizing its economy in the 1980s. Witchcraft discourses linked to the business sector have emerged side by side with the increased liberalization of public spaces and media. Drawing from an ethnographic study of 52 adolescents with small businesses in urban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and a Foucauldian analysis of popular discourses on witchcraft and business, I attempt here to make sense of why witchcraft is invoked in a sector that is conventionally viewed as the realm of economic rationality in neoliberal discourses. In this article, I suggest that capital, knowledge, and markets, which continue to be presented as necessary conditions for business growth, are not sufficient in explaining why certain businesses fail and others succeed. It rather suggests context specific reasons that may explain how adolescents with small businesses end up embracing popular discourses that link business success or failure to witchcraft, such as Chuma Ulete (reap and bring). It also explains the impact that such an embrace has on the ways in which these young people with small businesses are engaging with entrepreneurship. This entails unpacking how witchcraft ends up being invoked by those who need their businesses to grow as well as explaining how they take pre-emptive measures to protect their businesses from such apparent witchcraft. <![CDATA[<b>Singing and Sounding the Sacred - the Function of Religious Songs and Hymns in the Public Sphere</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012020000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Hymns are commonly sung in the public space of worship. They often also function in other public as well as private spheres. Religious singing in public spaces forms bridges between personal faith, the church, and public Christianity, while at the same time also forming bridges to a pluralist, secular, and post-secular society. I depart from the premise that the singing of hymns in the public sphere constitutes a form of religion lived in public. When the singing is reflected upon and discussed in public, also in social media, it can be seen as a form of public theology. Aspects of the reception histories and narratives of hymns, functioning in the wider public sphere in various countries and in various contexts and times, are discussed with regard to the possible functions that the singing could fulfil in these contexts. It is shown that hymnody forms a part of the beliefs, self-concepts, values, symbols, identities, ideologies, instruments of power, sets of myths, and the collective cultural memory of people. <![CDATA[<b>Money Dwells in the Spiritual Pocket! The Gospel of Prosperity and the Empowerment of Women through Talents/<i>'Matarenda </i>among ZAOGA FIF Adherents in Gweru, Zimbabwe<a href="#back_fn1">1</a></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012020000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Some religious movements have instilled a creative and innovative spirit among their adherents. This spirit is coupled with hard work and the inculcation of skills towards making a better life for themselves and their families. Referring to the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa - Forward in Faith (ZAOGA FIF), this essay explores how this church organization has instilled hard work, frugality, and penultimate economic empowerment among its followers through Talents/Matarenda. The essay has employed the Empowerment Framework of Longwe and Clarke (1994) as an analytical tool to unpack the church' s approach towards the empowerment of women. It has established positive changes in people' s quality of life amidst conflicts and compromises between the maintenance of religious ethical standards and the primacy of the economic motives in the adherents' quest for material wealth. <![CDATA[<b>Resurgent Fundamentalism, Politics, and the Anti-Liberal Agenda: Challenges for South Africa's Constitutional Democracy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012020000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Against the background of changes in the religion-state relationship in South Africa since 2009, this essay provides the foundational history of a resurgent fundamentalist Christian alliance that seeks to exert influence in politics, state institutions, and civil society. The discussion includes the growth of fundamentalist groups in the United States that established the religious right as a political force on which the alliance's stringent anti-liberal agenda and strategies are modelled. In conclusion, the unlimited right to religious freedom is questioned in the context of guarantees of protection from discrimination in a constitutional democracy. <![CDATA[<b>Book Review</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012020000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Against the background of changes in the religion-state relationship in South Africa since 2009, this essay provides the foundational history of a resurgent fundamentalist Christian alliance that seeks to exert influence in politics, state institutions, and civil society. The discussion includes the growth of fundamentalist groups in the United States that established the religious right as a political force on which the alliance's stringent anti-liberal agenda and strategies are modelled. In conclusion, the unlimited right to religious freedom is questioned in the context of guarantees of protection from discrimination in a constitutional democracy.