Original Research

Chasing the wind amidst roaring lions! Problematisation of religiosity in the current South African socio-political and economic landscape

M. A. Masoga
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 40, No 1 | a16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v40i1.16 | © 2019 M. A. Masoga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 May 2019 | Published: 25 July 2016

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M. A. Masoga, University of Venda, South Africa

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Mbiti once asserted that Africans are notoriously religious. For Mbiti, Africans are incurably religious. It becomes necessary to look intently at the current South African socio-political and economic landscape in the context of religiosity. There are vivid indications that religiosity in South Africa has become a common ‘terrain ‘of use, abuse, and misuse in processes of both politicking and moralising. Interestingly, when any political leadership asserts power, there is also a discourse of ‘religiosity’ that develops. This propensity has unfortunately equated religion or being religious (in South Africa) to political democratic legitimization, consolidation and normalization. Outside South Africa is the narrative of Prophet TB Joshua. There are claims that a number of political leaders have been to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos head-quarters, in Nigeria, arguably chasing their political validity. There are other relevant narratives and accounts in South Africa which include the frequent visits to Moriya, the headquarters of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), in Limpopo and also the Isaiah Shembe meeting place at eKuphakameni. The question is whether religion or religiosities are appropriate instruments to give political credibility. The paper aims to question how religion and religiosity affect the current South African socio-political and economic landscape. Some anecdotes and narratives of how polarized this situation is will be presented and analysed.


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