Abstract: What is the relation between divine and human action in the world? To understand how a certain group of Christians reckon human capacity and divine authority, I explore articulations of two theological concepts – sin and sovereignty – as they played out in the concerns of a congregation of Baptists in Zimbabwe’s capital city. This paper is situated within emerging conversations between anthropologists and theologians, and from my ethnographic case I argue that contemporary readings of Calvin and of Augustinian notions of original sin offer the anthropologist alternatives to the analytic category of ‘agency’. Beliefs about the limits of human capacity and about God’s control among urban Zimbabwean Baptists shape their engagement with the political realm, and their case contributes to ethnographic explorations of theological and political conceptions of sovereignty.
Abstract: The author argues that the continuous connection between Zimbabwean Diasporic Canadians (ZDC) and their homeland Zimbabwe is facilitated by the ZDC’s ongoing relationship and involvement with Zimbabwean African Indigenous Religion (AIR) and Zimbabwean African Initiated Churches (AICs). The two spiritual institutions are used as vehicles to alleviate cultural and racial discrimination as well as the socioeconomic challenges faced by the ZDC. The methodologies of interviews and participant observation were used. Research indicates that ZDC maintain their ties with Zimbabwe through continued engagement with AIR and AIC, who establish and assert themselves as vehicles of interaction and interdependence between Zimbabwe and the ZDC. In addition to their religious preoccupation, these institutions also play an important economic and social role in the lives of the ZDC. The conclusion is that ZDC did not make a complete break with their homeland.