Abstract: In this article, the author explores the role of religion in social constructions of heterosexual masculinity in South Africa in the context of civil society driven programs to fight sexual and gender-based violence and the spread of HIV. Critically engaging with the concept of hegemonic masculinity and the sociological literature on gender relations in conservative Christian communities, the author examines how Charismatic Christian and Pentecostal communities in the townships of Cape Town negotiate their model of masculinity and gender authority in the context of the prevailing hegemonies of ‘traditional’ and ‘liberal’ masculinity. Based on ethnographic observations and qualitative interviews with Pentecostal men, the author specifies the concrete mechanisms whereby Pentecostalism both contributes to transform but also to reproduce rather than undermine hegemonic masculinity. He finds that Pentecostalism responsibilizes men not because men adopt its sexual ideology but because they adopt its model of personhood.
Publisher’s Description: This book critically interrogates emerging intertconnections between religion and biomedicine in Africa in the era of antiretroviral treatment for AIDS. Highlighting the complex relationships between religious ideologies, practices and organizations on the one hand, and biomedical treatment programmes and the scientific languages and public health institutions that sustain them on the other, this anthology charts largely uncovered terrain in the social science study of the Aids epidemic.
Spanning different regions of Africa, the authors offer unique access to issues at the interface of religion and medical humanitarianism and the manifold therapeutic traditions, religious practices and moralities as they co-evolve in situations of AIDS treatment. This book also sheds new light on how religious spaces are formed in response to the dilemmas people face with the introduction of life-prolonging treatment programmes.
Introduction: religion and AIDS-treatment in Africa: the redemptive moment, Hansjörg Dilger, Marian Burchardt and Rijk van Dijk.
Part I Agency, Subjectivity, and Authority:
Fashioning selves and fashioning styles: negotiating the personal and the rhetorical in the experiences of African recipients of ARV treatment, Felicitas Becker
The logic of therapeutic habitus: culture, religion and biomedical AIDS treatments in South Africa, Marian Burchardt
‘A blessing in disguise’: the art of surviving HIV/AIDS as a member of the Zionist Christian Church in South Africa, Bjarke Oxlund
‘God has again remembered us!’: Christian identity and men’s attitudes to antiretroviral therapy in Zambia, Anthony Simpson.
Part II Contesting Therapeutic Domains and Practices
Prophetic medicine, antiretrovirals, and the therapeutic economy of HIV in northern Nigeria, Jack Ume Tocco
‘Silent nights, anointing days’: post-HIV test religious experiences in Ghana, Benjamin Kobina Kwansa
The blood of Jesus and CD4 counts: dreaming, developing and navigating therapeutic options for curing HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, Dominik Mattes.
Part III Emergent Organizational Forms in Times of ART
Societal dynamics, state relations, and international connections: influences on Ghanaian and Zambian church mobilization in AIDS treatment, Amy S. Patterson
The role of religious institutions in the district-level governance of anti-retroviral treatment in western Uganda, A.M.J. Leusenkamp
Negotiating holistic care with the ‘rules’ of ARV treatment in a Catholic community-based organization in Kampala, Louise Mubanda Rasmussen
Notions of efficacy around a Chinese medicinal plant: Artemesia annua – an innovative AIDS therapy in Tanzania, Caroline Meier zu Biesen
Burchardt, Marian. 2014. AIDS Activism in the Age of ARV Treatment in South Africa: Christianity, Resource Mobilisation and the Meanings of Engagement. Journal of Southern African Studies 40(1): 59-74.
Abstract: This article explores the dynamics of Christian AIDS activism in South Africa. Using social movement theory’s approaches to resource mobilisation, I ask how the availability of different kinds of resources affects organisation and outcomes. Focusing on several Christian activist groups in Cape Town, and on the cultural logics whereby activist networks are extended into rural areas, I argue that resource mobilisation takes on different configurations and rationalities when conjugated with the prevailing system of relationships of patronage and dependency between activist groups and donors. By illustrating the way in which AIDS activism has spilled over into the religious domain in South Africa, I also highlight how, in the process, this activism and the projects it initiated have reshaped Christianity as a public religion.