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Doctoral Degrees (Religion and Social Transformation)

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    The role of men and masculinities in mitigating child marriage: a case of Mashonaland central province, Zimbabwe.
    (2023) Nkoma, Elizabeth.; Siwila, Lilian Cheelo.
    Practices like the role of men and masculinities in mitigating child marriage remain an obstacle to the full achievement of better strategies to combat child marriage in Mashonaland Central. The study used redemptive masculinity theory to assess the relevance of the role of men and masculinities in mitigating child marriage. This study was qualitative empirical research where data was generated from both fieldwork and secondary sources in the form of books and journals. The study found out that low male involvement contributes much towards trapping girls and young women and their families in a cycle of poverty. It also contributes to psychological and emotional consequences of early pregnancy which presents significant health risks for girls including obstetric fistula, higher child deaths and unsafe abortion, violence and poor education made most of the girls powerless and victims of gender-based violence. The study concluded that the role of men and masculinity is relevant in mitigating child marriage in Mashonaland Central, because women’s concerns are also men’s concerns, so men play a pivotal role in mitigating child marriage, despite some inequalities and many other cultural and religious factors that were noted in the study.
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    Intertwined lives: reconstructing life after the death of my son: an autoethnography of a pastoral counsellor and mother.
    (2021) Sutherland, Adri Mariette.; Rakoczy, Suzan Francis.
    Through the Triquetra as metaphor for intertwined lives, this dissertation seeks to demonstrate how the loss of a child impacts on the personal, family and professional life of a pastoral counsellor or minister. The research question was developed from integrating my personal experience as pastoral counsellor and mother who have lost a child with the narratives of other pastoral counsellors and ministers who have lost a child. A first-hand account is thereby provided from the participants’ perspective of their experiences of grief and loss. This also provides a narrative to the academic world and other pastoral counsellors and ministers to study and evaluate. The qualitative research approaches used were autoethnography and semi-structured interviews based on questionnaires. Participants were obtained through purposive sampling, coupled with snowball sampling. To keep the voices and perspectives of the pastoral counsellors and ministers in focus, the Listening Guide of the Voice Centred Relational Method (VCRM) was used as analytical tool for the participants’ interview data. Creative Analytical Practices (CAP) was used to analyse the autoethnographic data, which consists of different texts, prose, journal entries, poetry, photos and pictures, diagrams and maps. What emerged from this research study was that the pastoral counsellors and ministers were often feeling disenfranchised, ‘being silenced’ by those around them. Participants responded by keeping feelings of grief and loss to themselves, with husband and wife often keeping their grief from one another for fear of opening each other’s wounds. Their faith in God provided comfort and a way to cope with the loss of their children. They indicate growth from the trauma of their loss when they resumed their professional lives while still working through their grief and managing their vulnerability whilst counselling and ministering. The narrative research design may provide other bereaved parents with an accessible resource and add another dimension to the current body of academic knowledge, by illuminating theory with lived experience. Writing an autoethnographic account of my grief experience as pastoral counsellor and mother who have lost her son, contributes to the body of bereavement literature. Adding the narratives of the other participants, strengthened this contribution
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    The forms of colonial Christianity and Zambian cultures in contemporary Zambia.
    (2022) Mwampulo, Yonah.; Siwila, Lilian Cheelo.
    This study examined the influence of PEMS and LMS on the Bemba and Lozi cultures in contemporary Zambia using the theories of relative ontology alongside coloniality. The theories above underpinned the desktop and archival research methods that were qualitative and non-empirical in nature. The study holds that the PEMS and LMS as mission bodies represented a particular form of colonial Christianity which influenced the indigenous education systems, moral norms, and the liturgy in the missionary establishments within the Barotseland and Bembaland. It has been argued that PEMS and LMS influence on the Lozi and Bemba cultures has positively and negatively affected their people. The positive contribution of the forms of colonial Christianity was the repudiation of the boiling water test and the killing of twins in most African cultures. However, the negative influence of the missional activities on indigenous rituals was the denunciation of all forms of sexual cleansing as pagan and barbaric. Furthermore, the findings showed that missional education via missional schools eroded the indigenous knowledge systems of the Lozi and Bemba people. The study argued that the new faith systems punctured the indigenous knowledge systems based on the cosmological worldviews alongside the new episteme of the LMS and PEMS. The study further argues that the indigenous knowledge systems in indigenous moral norms, education, and liturgy provided the vital knowledge tools that enabled the Lozi and Bemba to navigate their way through a maze of contestations of decoloniality in contemporary Zambia. The study acknowledges that the Lozi and Bemba cultures can exist within the context of Christianity and maintain their uniqueness as places of doing theology, moral norms, and liturgy in the context of think-feel experiences. The study notes that cultural practices such as initiation ceremonies and rituals such as imbusa should be incorporated into Christian teachings because they believed them to be life-affirming rituals to teach young people to mature into responsible adults. In addition, when applied to practical theology and missiology, reviving indigenous knowledge systems of the Lozi and Bemba would provide the locus of inspiration in teaching young people about Biblical Christian values and moral norms. The findings revealed that missional liturgy could only be meaningful if it relates to the indigenous people’s everyday experiences.
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    Paddy Kearney: an example of the creation and re-creation of a Christian activist over five decades=Paddy Kearney: Isibonelo sokwakhiwa nokwakhiwa kabusha Kwabashabasheki bobuKhristu emashuminyakeni ayisihlanu.
    (2023) Perrier, Raymond Anthony.; Denis, Philippe Marie Berthe Raoul.
    Abstract Paddy Kearney (1942-2018) was a well-known Christian activist operating in Durban during and after the Liberation Struggle (from 1970 until his death). He worked closely with Denis Hurley (Catholic Archbishop of Durban from 1947 to 1992) with whom he created Diakonia and in whose honour he later founded the Denis Hurley Centre. At Diakonia, Kearney brought together Christians of all denominations to work for social justice; later as Chair of the Gandhi Development Trust and the Denis Hurley Centre Trust his work broadened to include partners of all faith communities. Although he worked closely with religious leaders, Kearney had no official status as a member of clergy but he did spend 10 years in a Catholic religious order, the Marist Brothers. The thesis draws on Kearney’s own archive, the archives of the organisations to which he was linked, and interviews with 72 colleagues, friends and family members from across the decades. The documents of Vatican II are referenced extensively and also relevant secondary texts by contemporary (and where possible African) theologians. The thesis aims to show how Kearney’s ministry was shaped by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) at which +Hurley had been a prominent participant. It is argued that Kearney’s life exemplified some of the new approaches to being Church that the Council (and +Hurley) encouraged: working with other Christians (Unitatis Redintegratio), respecting other faiths (Nostra Aetate), defining a role for lay people (Apostolicam Actuositatem), defending human rights (Dignitatis Humanae), responding to the sufferings of the world (Gaudium et Spes). While celebrating the degree to which Kearney epitomised Vatican II, the thesis shows the degree to which this had to develop over time and also highlights some ways in which Kearney did not go far enough. Nevertheless, it concludes that he provides an important model for Christian activists today. Appendices explore additional related themes such as Kearney’s links to Mahatma Gandhi and the status of +Hurley as a political priest. Kearney was also a prolific writer including the award-winning biography of +Hurley (Kearney, G Paddy. Guardian of the Light, Pietermaritzburg: UKZN, 2009); he awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Iqoqa UPaddy Kearney (1942-2018) wayeyisishoshovu soMkhristu esaziwayo owayesebenzela eDurban ngenkathi yoMzabalazo Wenkululeko (kusukela ngonyaka we-1970 waze wafa). Wasebenza ngokusondelana kakhulu noDenis Hurley (UMbhishobhi omkhulu wamaKhatholika kusukela ngowe-1947 kuya kowe-1992) abakha kanye naye iDiakonia okwathi ngokumhlonipha nakamuva wakha iDenis Hurley Centre. EDiakonia, uKearney wahlanganisa amaKhristu azo zonke izinhlaka ukusebenzela ubulingiswa bomphakathi; kwathi kamuva njengoSihlalo weGandhi Development Trust neDenis Hurley Centre Trust umsebenzi wakhe wasabalala wafaka ayebambisene nabo kuyo yonke imiphakathi yokholo. Nakuba asebenza ngokusondelana nabaholi bezenkolo, uKearney wayengenaso isikhundla esisemthethweni njengelungu labefundisi abagcotshiwe kodwa wasebenza iminyaka eyishumi nohlelo lokholo lwamaKhatholika, iMarist Brothers. Ucwaningo lusukela emqulwinimlando yakhe uKearney, imiqulumlando yezinhlangano ayehlobene nazo, nezinhlolokhono nabalingani bakhe abangama-72, abangani namalungu omndeni emashumininyaka amaningi. Imiqulu yaseVatican II icashunwe kakhulu nemibhalo yongoti bezenkolo yeqophelo lesibili yesimanje (lapho okuvuma khona okube ngeyase-Afrika). Ucwaningo luhlose ukukhombisa ukuthi ubufundisi bukaKearney kwakhiwa yiSecond Vetican Council (1962-65) lapho +Hurley owayengumbambiqhaza oqavile. Kuqakulwa ukuthi impilo kaKearney yayisibonelo sezinye zezindlela ezintsha zokuba yiSonto okwakukhuthazwa nguMkhandlu (+Hurley): kusetshenzwa namanye amaKhrestu (Unitatis Redintegratio), ukuhlonipha ezinye izinkolo (Nostra Aetate), ukuchaza iqhaza labantu phaqa (Apostolicam Actuositatem), ukuvikela amalungelo abantu (Dignitatis Humanae), ukuphendula ekuhluphekeni komhlaba (Gaudium et Spes). Ngenkathi sigubha izinga uKearney amela ngalo iVatican ll, ucwaningo lukhombisa izinga lokhu okwase kukhule ngalo emva kwesikhathi, futhi kuphinde kugqamise izindlela uKearney aphinda wagubeka kuzo. Naphezu-ke, luphetha ngokuthi uyimodeli emqoka yezishoshovu zobuKhrestu zanamuhla. Izengezelo zihlola izindikimba ezelekiwe nezinobuhlobo njengokuxhumana kuka +Hurley kuMahatma Gandhi nesimo sika +Hurley njengomfundisi ongowezombusazwe. UKearney wayephinde abe ngumbhali osebhale kakhulu kubalwa nombhalo webhayografi owadla ubhedu ka +Hurley (Kearney, G Paddy. Guardian of the Light, Pietermaritzburg: UKZN, 2009); wahlonishwa ngeziqu zobudokotela yiNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natal.
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    Exploring the intersections of gender, religion, and, culture when engaging the Pokot-Turkana conflict in Kenya between 1963 and 2015.
    (2023) Nganga, Daniel Muchungu.; Van der Walt, Charlene.
    The Sahel region and East Africa has shown sustained levels of inter-pastoral violent conflicts with associated potential impacts on their livelihoods. One such conflict is the Turkana-Pokot cross-border conflict that has become the norm. Despite disarmament operations initiated by the government of Kenya, peace-building meetings, and workshops led by the Catholic dioceses of Kitale and Lodwar, insecurity in the region continues to prevail. This study explored the intersections of gender, religion, and culture when engaging the Pokot-Turkana conflict in Kenya between 1963 and 2015 and had three objectives: to trace the nature of the conflict along the Pokot-Turkana in general; to interrogate how the Catholic Church has been involved in the conflict management process and how it could enhance its engagement with those affected by the Pokot-Turkana conflict when appropriating an intersectional gender-sensitive paradigm for conflict resolution; and to examine how an intersectional gender-critical analysis of the conflict could contribute to a better understanding of the Pokot-Turkana conflict and possible interventions. The researcher applied a combination of theoretical frameworks in addressing the research questions. They included: Protracted Social Conflict (PSC) theory by Edward Azar (1990) in analyzing the nature and persistence of the Pokot-Turkana conflict, Pankhurst and Pearce's steps in engendering a disciplined framework to address the gender aspect missing in conflict management theory by Azar's PSC, and Kanyoro's feminists' cultural hermeneutics theoretical framework to address the intersection of gender, culture, and religion. Data was collected through random/probability and non-random/non-probability sampling techniques. Under random/probability sampling, cluster and stratified sampling were used, while under non-random/non-probability, purposive sampling was used. Research instruments used in data collection were questionnaires, interview guides, and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Data analysis was done manually and presented in tables. The questionnaires, interview guides, and FGDs were qualitatively analyzed. The findings included the Roman Catholic church's role in managing the conflict, the cultural gender roles sustaining the conflict, and the role of culture as a pawn and a resource in conflict management. The research established that the government interventions failed in mitigation efforts due to poor conflict resolution strategies caused by factors not in tandem with the local perceptions, beliefs, expectations, and needs of the affected communities. This study recommends that the Catholic Church and the council of elders develop a common conflict management framework. Peace in the grassroots model by the late bishop Korir was reviewed, enhanced, and recommended.
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    The forms of colonial Christianity and Zambian cultures in contemporary Zambia.
    (2022) Mwampulo, Yonah.; Siwila, Lillian Cheelo.
    This study examined the influence of PEMS and LMS on the Bemba and Lozi cultures in contemporary Zambia using the theories of relative ontology alongside coloniality. The theories above underpinned the desktop and archival research methods that were qualitative and non-empirical in nature. The study holds that the PEMS and LMS as mission bodies represented a particular form of colonial Christianity which influenced the indigenous education systems, moral norms, and the liturgy in the missionary establishments within the Barotseland and Bembaland. It has been argued that PEMS and LMS influence on the Lozi and Bemba cultures has positively and negatively affected their people. The positive contribution of the forms of colonial Christianity was the repudiation of the boiling water test and the killing of twins in most African cultures. However, the negative influence of the missional activities on indigenous rituals was the denunciation of all forms of sexual cleansing as pagan and barbaric. Furthermore, the findings showed that missional education via missional schools eroded the indigenous knowledge systems of the Lozi and Bemba people. The study argued that the new faith systems punctured the indigenous knowledge systems based on the cosmological worldviews alongside the new episteme of the LMS and PEMS. The study further argues that the indigenous knowledge systems in indigenous moral norms, education, and liturgy provided the vital knowledge tools that enabled the Lozi and Bemba to navigate their way through a maze of contestations of decoloniality in contemporary Zambia. The study acknowledges that the Lozi and Bemba cultures can exist within the context of Christianity and maintain their uniqueness as places of doing theology, moral norms, and liturgy in the context of think-feel experiences. The study notes that cultural practices such as initiation ceremonies and rituals such as imbusa should be incorporated into Christian teachings because they believed them to be life-affirming rituals to teach young people to mature into responsible adults. In addition, when applied to practical theology and missiology, reviving indigenous knowledge systems of the Lozi and Bemba would provide the locus of inspiration in teaching young people about Biblical Christian values and moral norms. The findings revealed that missional liturgy could only be meaningful if it relates to the indigenous people’s everyday experiences.
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    From clericalism and passivity to conscious stewardship: towards responsible discipleship of the laity of the Catholic Church of Southern Africa.
    (2023) Brennan, Vincent.; Rakoczy, Susan Francis.; Moyo, Herbert.
    Jesus instructed His followers to love one another as He loved them. He said they should not lord it over each other like the pagans do (cf. Matt.20:25) but to serve each other as He served. The church of the Acts of the Apostles is egalitarian. It is a community of disciples (cf. Acts 2:42-47). It is the Body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor:12). The different functions of different members are not intended to divide but to build unity. By the end of the 1st century, this one Body of Christ had become divided into a privileged, clerical elite and an inferior laity. In 1156, Gratian’s decree said that there are two types of Christians, and in 1906 Pope Pius X said that all Christians are not equal. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) spoke of the Church in terms of the Old Testament image of People of God and the Pauline image of the Body of Christ. It says that the Church as Communion had its origin in the Holy Trinity, the ultimate communion of love. The Church is an icon of the Trinity. In that Church, all are equal, all are called to be holy, all share in the one priesthood of Christ, all are responsible for the Church’s mission. The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) embarked on a variety of pastoral programmes to ensure that the Vatican II model of Church would become embedded in the life of the local Church in its thinking and practice. A study of the archives indicated that these met with limited success. This thesis proposes Stewardship as a way to live the Vatican II Community model of Church. God Himself is the Steward of all creation. Man and woman were told to care for this creation in His name (cf. Gen.2:15). As Son of God Jesus is the Sacrament of God’s presence. He gives the Stewardship of God a human face. The Church is the Sacrament of Christ, making Christ present for all time. The Church does not have an option to choose or reject Stewardship. It flows from its nature.
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    A critical examination of the contribution of African Enterprise's evangelism and social action toward religious and social transformation in Pietermaritzburg, from 1962 to 2015.
    (2022) Chibambo, Songelwayo Walter Yesaya.; Moyo, Herbert.
    The thesis critically evaluates African Enterprise’s work of evangelism and social action towards religious and social transformation in Pietermaritzburg from its inception in 1962 to 2015. AE’s founder, Michael Cassidy’s parents, had a European origin. The thesis traces personalities and factors that shaped Michael Cassidy’s formative years, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the Lausanne Congress. Their theologies have had a vital influence on African Enterprise’s theology. The study highlights that BGEA has not entirely positively impacted AE because they tended to prioritise evangelism over social action. Missiologically speaking, the study shows that there cannot be any dichotomy between the two because they complement each other. The study argues that AE would be more effective had AE contextualised to deal with social challenges in PMB. Thus, the fruit of Christian love, evangelism and social action could have thrived in PMB who live in a community. This thesis argues that AE failed because it did not integrate the Biblical principles of proclamation and Diakonia (social praxis). Despite the initial successes it experienced in the past, the most kairos critical challenge of social justice remains unaddressed. Lack of social action in the form of diaconal has militated against processes of social transformation in PMB. The qualitative research study used in-depth interviews and questionnaires to draw data from the 14 participants interviewed, including AE’s founder. Data were coded using the NVivo programme to ascertain the main themes before the data analysis. The thesis’s key findings revealed that AE failed to be an effective catalyst in its mission in PMB. Therefore, AE has become irrelevant and ineffectual in its work to effect transformational change in PMB. The study proposes that AE change from its Western and non-African strategies and methodology to a context-based approach. The thesis recommends that the AE’s leadership and Board rebrand and change in light of its context for purposes of engendering a relevant response to the felt needs of PMB’s people. Secondly, the thesis recommends a deconstruction of warped operating mindsets that do not appreciate African traditions and customs that form the context of the intended audience.
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    Water theology and religious engagement in interfaith dialogue to mitigate water scarcity in Botshabelo.
    (2023) Mapulanga, Michael.; Kumalo, Simangaliso Raymond.
    This research project focuses on a quest for an interfaith dialogue on water theology in the context of water scarcity in Botshabelo, a region in the Free State Province of South Africa. Water theology in this study stands for the theology that cares for water and the environment. From 2014, Botshabelo has been affected by water scarcity which has severely affected people in their daily living and religious rituals. The adherents of African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam argue that despite the water shortages in Botshabelo, religious leaders have not been vocal in advocating for water conservation. The adherents of religions in Botshabelo claim that the engagement of religious leaders in interfaith dialogue and advocacy for water conservation could assist in mitigating water scarcity in Botshabelo. According to these believers, the absence of advocacy for water conservation by religious leaders signifies the lack of care for nature. This thesis aims at investigating how could the engagement of religious leaders through interfaith dialogue assist in mitigating the crisis of water scarcity in Botshabelo. The thesis assesses the role and the significance of religion in addressing social problems. The study focuses on three major religions in Botshabelo, namely; African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam to obtain the wide views and responses about their engagement in multifaith dialogue to conserve water in Botshabelo. It is also a finding of this study that even though religious leaders are willing to discuss the problem of water scarcity, they lack the tools and approaches which could be provided by interfaith dialogue. Furthermore, it is a finding of the study that water scarcity is due to the failure of the society to take responsibility for water conservation. While recognizing the contributions of the available scholarship on the aspect of water scarcity in South Africa, this study proposes a care for water which is called in this thesis as a theology of water informed by an interfaith dialogue theory of Michael Fitzgerald (2000) and Hans Küng (2004).
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    Unmasking Christian women survivor voices against gender-based violence: a pursuit for a feminist liberative pastoral care praxis for married women in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
    (2022) Dlamini, Nokulunga Zamantshali Portia.; Van der Walt, Charlene.
    Gender-based violence is a global pandemic and Christian women face the unthinkable suffering and psycho-emotional trauma in their Christian homes. Traditional culture and practices are key agents of gender-based violence. Religion is another collaborator that perpetuates gender oppression and violence. Toxic theologies are implicated as sexist and patriarchal institutes that fuel injustices that harm more than cure as its women congregants suffer in shame and silence. The skewed biblical translations, and the language of submission and male dominance among many theologies have caused much harm. These toxic narratives are further bolstered in families at the wider society, where sociocultural practices such as ilobolo have created a climate of abuse as women are treated as chattel. Accordingly, patriarchy remains a contentious issue. The study employs Mercy Amba Oduyoye’s, African Women Theology as a theoretical lens since it intersects gender, where culture and religion surface as gender inequality and oppression which manifests as violent abuse, suffering, and psycho-emotional trauma in the home. This research study presents data collection from eleven (11) narratives of women survivors, who weave their embodied lived experiences of domestic and gender-based violence. These narratives explicate how and why African Christian women suffer from pathologies of culture and religion within marriage and how it distorts women’s identities and personhood. The latter part of data collection is embodied on focus group discussions and visual maps that shape pastoral care guidelines inspiring the Anglican Church of Southern Church in the Diocese of Natal to theologize differently. As part of incarnating faith communities such that women heal and flourish, the study explores a pastoral theological reflection tool/resource synonymous with pastoral guidelines aiding African women to participate in their own journey of healing within the Anglican communion. The pastoral praxis explored in here envisions non-patriarchal safe spaces beyond the Anglican Church norm and beyond the traditional theological resources for the affected to vent their feelings and frustrations about their experiences of exploitation and oppression outside of hierarchical borders. Their narratives created a space for vulnerability, recognition, and healing as, mechanisms that lead to restorative justice and emancipation, enabling women to flourish.
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    Pastoral critique of the Catholic social teaching and its impact on ecological justice among the Tonga people in Binga district of Zimbabwe.
    (2020) Mirirayi, Knowledge.; Moyo, Herbert.
    The study focused on reviewing and judging the value of the Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and its notion on ecological justice among the Tonga people of Binga District in Zimbabwe. The CST is a key principal theory which provided the study with the pastoral lens. As a principal theory, it then ostensibly and robustly demands the retrieval and promotion of social justice among the Tonga people as a means of emancipating them from environmental genocide. It demands fair distribution and equal participation of the Tonga irrespective of gender, ethnicity and class. The theory equipped the research with techniques to show how the Catholic Church and social institutions should interfere in Tonga people’s complexities. The CST theory was used to expose, remedy, and then recommend filling of a gap of knowledge by using a holistic approach and multi-pronged approach through the qualitative research methodology and case study design in data collection and analysis. The study employed the individual in-depth interviews as a technique and tool for interfacing and dialogue with twenty five participants which include the Tonga traditional chiefs, village heads, women, youths, WADCO Chairpersons, the DA of Binga, Catholic Priests, key participants from Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ), Caritas, Silveira House and the Basilwizi Trust endeavoring to expose the root causes of their socio-economic realities and find suitable home grown approaches for lasting solutions. This was reinforced by focus group discussions with nine participants to ascertain the causes of their problems and possible solutions to their suffering. The two data collection techniques assisted the research with a full picture of the participants’ perceptions and experiences. The study looked at the reasons behind the isolation of the Tonga people in the pre-and post-colonial era. Some other factors revolve around the construction of the Kariba Dam in 1957 and its aftermath, namely, the forcible relocation, involuntary resettlement, the introduction of new policies to access water and animal resources. The research exposed that the exclusion of Tonga people in decision-making processes in all critical community development projects forms the base of their vulnerability. The study could not overlook the status of women and the youths in Tonga communities in Binga. This was done to expose the root cause of their predicaments. After the presentation of data, thematic analysis was employed to analyze data collected from library sources, interviews, and focus group discussions. This enhanced the study to look across the gathered data to establish common themes in order to provide answers to the research questions, and means to enhance the opportunities as well as the abilities of the Tonga people to control and access their natural resources. Amongst other essential factors espoused, the study included effective consultation, engagement and participation. The study also presented summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations for further study.
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    A critique of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe’s (ELCZ) engagement in local ecumenism among the Karanga of Mberengwa in Zimbabwe.
    (2020) Hove, Rabson.; Moyo, Herbert.
    Ecumenism is the fellowship of the denomination at any given level attending to their spiritual, social, economic and political needs. The church is an institution that affects people’s lives, its ministry and operations are also impacted by the culture of the local people. This study explores the missio-cultural factors influencing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe’s (ELCZ) local ecumenical engagement among the Karanga in Mberengwa. The study seeks to find out the nature of local ecumenical activities and the impact of the missional and cultural factors in shaping local ecumenism in Mberengwa, Zimbabwe. While there are divisions due to the growth of many denominations in Mberengwa the study shows that there are various forms of ecumenical engagement taking place. Besides being shaped by missional factors such as evangelism and Diakonia, the cultural factors have greatly impacted the ELCZ’s local ecumenical engagement. The research notes that the culturally shaped ecumenism is not led by the clergy but is an accidental social space of interaction among denominations, either called by local community leaders or a response to natural phenomena such as attending funerals. The question of non-structured local ecumenical engagement is blamed on poor participation by the local ELCZ clergy in Mberengwa. The study argues that the Karanga concepts of ukama and communalism continue to help members of different denominations including the ELCZ to develop the habit of meeting and working together. The Karanga culture has provided a footing in shaping local ecumenism in Mberengwa. Among the benefits of local ecumenism are the promotion of community development and the unity of the churches and the local people in general that result in religious, social and political tolerance especially in an area known for political polarization and violence during times of elections in Zimbabwe. The study utilizes postocolonial theoretical framework. Postcolonial theory is important in this study as it unmasks the domination and power imbalance that negatively impede the ELCZ’s local ecumenical engagement. This phenomenological study uses qualitative methody with in-depth interviews conducted through snowball, purposive and convenience sampling methods.
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    A place of religion education in multicultural school in iLembe District.
    (2020) Govender, Sungeetha.; Moyo, Herbert.
    The study aims to investigate the challenges and perceptions of religion education in multicultural schools. This is a qualitative study and is guided by the interpretative paradigm. This research utilised a triangulation approach using focus groups, in-depth interviews, and document review. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed and interpreted through the coding process. In a multicultural country like South Africa, it is important that learners reach high levels of proficiency in religion education. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) provides the basis for curriculum for transformation and development. There is a need for educator training so that educators can handle diverse learners and improve teaching approaches and strategies. Religion education bring about moral values and contributes to create an integrated community that affirms in diversity therefore religious diversity needs to be facilitated by trained professionals. The chapters unfold with various perceptions by educators, learners, parents’ school governing body members, and authorities. This allows me to record and analyse these principles, practices and lived experience in religion education development. A major feature of this research has been to seek and summarise the first hand views and the authentic voices of educators, learners, parents, curriculum developers and religious leaders. This study seeks to build on the new direction in education and proposes numerous strategic recommendations for a new approach in religion education in South Africa. Finally, the study provides useful insights and guidelines to the general public, educators, policymakers, lectures and managers of the institution of learning.
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    The role of Micah's rhetorical language and Mwaghavul sayings on congregants' response to sermons in central Nigeria.
    (2019) Goholshak, Hezekiah Hakuri.; Efthimiadis Keith, Helen.
    This study focuses on an examination of the role that the biblical rhetoric of the book of Micah and Mwaghavul cultural sayings (sumpoo) play in enabling Mwaghavul congregants in central Nigeria to better understand, respond to and recall sermons preached. In view of the above, this research argues that a preacher‘s appropriate synergistic use of the biblical rhetoric and African indigenous wisdom, makes it possible for congregants to more readily respond to and recall sermons. The Mwaghavul people of the Plateau State in central Nigeria, use many wise sayings from the sacred text and cultural memory, as a means to authenticate their traditional mode of communication. Similarly, the researcher noted that the prophet Micah‘s skillful articulation of the indigenous rhetorical devices of the eighth-century BC context equally accorded the prophecy a great response by his immediate audience; and, as a collective memory, was recalled a century later (cf. Jer. 26:18-19). The researcher was motivated to undertake a contextual hermeneutical study of this book, with the view to craft better ways of engaging both the rhetorical elements of the book of Micah and comparable Mwaghavul sayings, ultimately to increase the gospel‘s impact on the people. In order to achieve the above, the research uses three lenses: contextual hermeneutics, using the tripolar model; inculturation; and reception theories. A socio-rhetorical interpretation of the Bible and the African proverbial hermeneutics are used to craft African contextual hermeneutics in the postcolonial period, that values the African knowledge system‘s contribution to understanding and owning the Christian message. A rhetorical and literary analysis of the Book of Micah is done. Attention is also given to African uses of wise sayings as rhetorical devices in secular and religious settings. These circles of rhetoric make contributions to sermon rhetoric in Africa – the rhetoric of the text and that of African wisdom constitute the sermon rhetoric. Undertaking a comparative study of the responses of twenty-four congregants, from two geographic clusters, "A" and "B", to the sermons through qualitative interviews, it was discovered that the congregants from cluster "B", the experimental cluster where the preachers used wise sayings, recalled and responded better to the message preached, showing evidence of transformation. This shows that sermons anchored in familiar language forms and the congregants‘ cultural roots brings about better understanding, recall and response to the sermons preached. This calls for a change in the curriculum of pastor training institutions like Gindiri Theological Seminary to award privilege to the pedagogy of context and to not neglect the pedagogy of formation for obtaining far reaching significance.
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    David’s coming of age and masculinity construction: a narrative critical engagement with the episodes of transition from boyhood to adulthood in the David narrative cycle=Ukufika kukaDavid ebangeni lobudala kanye nokuchazwa kobudoda: Ingxoxokuhlolisisa ngezigigaba zendlulelakukhula kusukela ebufaneni kuya ebudodeni kumjikelezongxoxo kaDavide.
    (2021-08-22) Dlodlo, Nozipho Princess Sibongokuhle.; Van der Walt, Charlene.
    This study results from an observation in relation to increasing gender-based violence. This was that men in the institute of the Church and outside were implicated in violent activities. Involvement of male religious leaders in these incidents left this researcher questioning the calibre of men in community. The study explores if there were no great Biblical models for men to follow. Furthermore, this study investigates the process of coming of age, specifically how a boy transitions to be a man, with special focus on King David, a ‘well-known’ figure for men within the institute of the Church and outside. It explores what the transition process entails and what ‘teachings’ or absence of teachings could inform gender-based violence. It offers the uniqueness of combining two theories (coming of age and constructions of masculinity) to read into the David Narrative Text. The study analyses the connection between men, their context and cultural background. It utilises the life of David presented in 1st and 2nd Samuel; focusing on four episodes the author thought integral to conceptualizing the process of coming of age from boyhood to adulthood. It analyzed aspects of coming of age in the life of King David by using narrative analysis as a method to read these texts. In framing this study, selected theories of coming of age and masculinity construction were applied to King David, to begin the reflection of what coming of age entails. This study observed that there are elements from the life of King David that could be emulated; as well as aspects that needed a more detailed read before assimilation to daily life. I argue that some masculine traits (ability to show strength or to be violent, high levels of sexual expression), appear to be the same traits found in men implicated in gender-based violence. Therefore, expectations of what a true man is, appear to clash with how normal people should interact. Men are caught between the expectations of culture and contextual masculine performance. This is both a structural and a systematic problem, which can afflict both men and women. I, therefore, argue that change from the observed could happen if there is a shift to men being at the center of conversations about their coming of age process. This study is essential because it observes a problem in society which is a daily lived reality (the problem of GBV), goes through the rigor of scientific research and then returns to society to argue that men need to be at the center of the conversations around constructions of masculinity and coming of age –– if true change is to be experienced. This study offers those who use the Bible as a reflective surface1for those who depend and seek to consult the Bible in matters patterning to life and more specifically for those who seek to understand the processes of coming of age and masculinity construction. Iqoqa Lolu cwaningo lusukela ekubhekisiseni ukwanda kodlame ngokobulili. Lokhu kudalwe ukubona amadoda asebenza ezikhungweni zesonto nangasebenzi khona ebandakanyeka ezenzweni zodlame. Ukubandakanyeka kwabaholi bezenkolo besilisa kulezi zenzo kwenze umcwaningi azibuze ngobuqotho babantu besilisa emphakathini. Ucwaningo lubheka ukuthi babengekho yini abantu besilisa abaqotho ebhayibhelini abayizibonelo ezingalandelwa ngabantu besilisa. Okunye futhi, lolu cwaningo lubheka inkambiso yokufika ebangeni lobudala, ikakhulukazi ukuthi umfana udlulela kanjani esigabeni sokuba yindoda, kugxilwe ngokukhethekile enkosini uDavide, ‘usaziwayo’ emadodeni angaphakathi esontweni nalawo angaphandle. Lubheka ukuthi inkambiso yendlulelakukhula yenzeka kanjani nokuthi nhloboni yezimfundiso noma ukungabi bikho kwazo okungaba nomthelela odlameni ngokobulili. Lusebenzisa ngokukhethekile izinjulalwazi ezimbili (injulalwazi yokufika ebangeni lobudala kanye neyokuchazwa kobudoda ngokufunda umbhalo ngoDavide. Ucwaningo luhlaziya ukuxhumana phakathi kwabesilisa, nezingxilasimo zabo kanye nemuva losikompilo. Ucwaningo luthole ukuthi kunezimpawu empilweni yenkosi uDavide abangazilingisela kanye nezibonakalo ezidinga ukufundisiswa ngaphambi kokuba zisetshenziswe empilweni yemihla ngemihla. Ngifakazisa ngokuthi ezinye izici zobudoda (ukutshengisa amandla noma ukuba nodlame, noma ukuzifaka kakhulu ezintweni eziphathelene nezocansi) zifana nse nezici ezitholakala kwabesilisa ababandakanyeka ezenzweni zodlame ngokobulili. Ngakho-ke, okubhekeke ukuthi umuntu wesilisa wangempela kumele abe njani kubukeka sengathi kuyashayisana nendlela okumele ukuthi abantu abaphile kahle baxhumane ngayo. Abesilisa bazithola benengcindezi phakathi kokulindeleke ngokosiko kanye nengxilasimo yokuziphatha njengendoda. Lokhu kuyinkinga ephathelene nezinhlaka nokuhleleka, okungaba nomthelela omubi kubantu besilisa nabesifazane. Ngakho-ke ngiyafakazisa ukuthi ushintsho kulokhu engikubonile lungenzeka uma kungaba nenguquko yokuthi abantu besilisa kube yibo abahola izingxoxo maqondana nohlelo lokufika kwabo ebangeni lobudala. Lolu cwaningo lumqoka ngoba lubheka inkinga ephilwa nsukuzonke emphakathini (inkinga yodlame ngokobulili), ngokugxila ngokwesayensi luphinde lubuyele emphakathini lufakazise ukuthi abesilisa kumele kube yibo abahola izingxoxo maqondana nokufika ebangeni lobudala kanye nokuchazwa kobulili besilisa uma kubhekeke ukuthi kube noguquko lwangempela.
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    World religions as resource to peace and well-being: John Hicks Christian theology of religions and its relevance to KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)
    (2020) Igwebuike, Alfred Chima.; Settler, Federico Guliano.
    South Africa, like other postcolonial nations, has undergone and continues to undergo series of religious, economic, social, and political transformations that continue to shape the country and the lives of its citizens. With the dawn of democracy in South Africa, the society not only faced socio-economic challenges related to racist segregationist policies of the Apartheid era, but also religio-culture challenges related to the recognition of religious rights and freedoms variously privileged and denied under Apartheid. Thus, with the advent of democracy, religious communities increasingly turned to the courts to adjudicate over interreligious tensions and conflicts, instead of fostering dialogue. To ascertain how ordinary South Africans, experience their day-to-day interreligious living and contact, the thesis focuses on one aspect of this social transformation and proposes to examine and hypothesise about world religions as a resource to peace and well-being. Thus, this study tests John Hick's theology of world religions as a resource for well-being’ against the lived experiences of South African faith communities. To achieve this, I engaged in extended fieldwork which included semi-structured individual interviews, and observation of the inter-religious contact and collaboration among the various South Africans – especially Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, African Indigenous, and Buddhist believers resident in KwaZulu-Natal. The study found out that, among South Africans, there are multifaceted understandings, dialogues, and forms of networking, as they face rapid social transformation in our pluralistic world. The broad conclusions of the study were two-fold: Firstly, it provided some preliminary ideas about the need for a postcolonial theology of religions and what it would look like in the South African context by drawing in indigenous ideas about humanness (ubuntu) and well-being (impilo). Secondly, the analysis suggests that Southern or African ideas of well-being incorporates being in good relations with God, ancestors, neighbours and with nature. This not only reveals something about the limits of Hick's theology as Christian normative and Eurocentric but also how the postcolonial context opens new avenues for thinking about theology of religions.
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    African indigenous same sexualities in a democratic society: a case study of rural women in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Khuzwayo-Magwaza, Lindiwe Promise.; Masondo, Sibusiso Theophilus.
    Gender and sexuality education remain a taboo subject in African communities, a point of view which is not easily transformed. Issues pertaining to sexualities are mostly excluded from everyday social discourses. In rural communities, this topic occupies a sacred space which is entrenched in African traditions. It may be perceived as old fashioned, but the taboo is important to the communities who implement it as it concerns the respecting of privacy. Africans have their own way of doing, living, and teaching, and given the fact that most learning institutions in South Africa adopt Western ways of teaching and learning, this renders the African way of life seemingly less effective and invisible. These are some of the challenges facing the subject of same sexualities. This research follows on from an earlier Masters research that focused on same sexualities among traditional healers or izangoma. There are two reasons why this study focuses on traditional healers, firstly, they are known as fonts of libraries of indigenous knowledge, religion and culture. Secondly, the availability of existing research and literature on izangoma is a fair starting point for a researcher who intends to investigate indigenous issues. The Masters research revealed several unattended issues on same sexualities, but what has become evident, is the influence the ancestral spirits exert on gender ambiguity. It is noted that most African communities view same sexualities amongst izangoma as something rooted in the ancestral spirits. They believe that the ancestral spirits can modify the sexual behaviour of an individual. Mkasi assert this by saying, if a female sangoma is possessed by a male spirit, there is a possibility that she maybe be interested in another female. Since ancestors are not bound by gender, they can possess anyone, irrespective of gender (2012, 148). The izangoma community is aware of people who are not heterosexual, but this does not concern them as their sexuality is not a social issue. However, the cultural beliefs of the community at large do not support the practice of same sexuality; they acknowledge their existence but expressing their feelings on the matter is another issue altogether. The decisive turning point was the passing of same sex legislation (The South African Constitution, 1996:2(9)(3)) awarding rights to same sex individuals (hereafter SSI). Democracy provided researchers with a number of opportunities to engage in debates and to develop theories on this subject, as existing evidence shows that such sexualities do exist in African communities. Although knowledge on this topic has increased exponentially in recent years, it has remained a contentious and evaded topic in the rural communities of KwaZulu-Natal. Thus, the focus of this research is on women in the rural communities. This study investigates the perceptions held in many rural communities that same sexualities is an ‘abnormal’ sexual behaviour. In an attempt to introduce same sex indigenous discourses into rural areas, the research focuses on women in rural communities. The reason for this is that the majority of these women experience challenges in their lives due to the patriarchal social structures in these areas. Traditional structures that determine the day to day functioning of the communities are led by males which invariably result in the oppression of women in same sex relationships. These women are perceived as a threat to traditional structures which favour heterosexual relationships. The males also perceive these women as a threat to their patriarchal hierarchy and its concomitant stability, a behaviour which goes against the status quo, as African traditions are underpinned by patriarchy. The success of this study depended on the framework used for this study, hence the African indigenous knowledge system was employed in this research. This method provided the researcher with appropriate ethical means to conduct research in rural communities. Moreover, it assisted the researcher to understand issues of morality in these communities while approaching the issue with sensitivity. Through the indigenous knowledge system approach, the researcher has been able to identify several issues, one being that there is a paucity of knowledge on same sex discourses in these areas. Furthermore, certain members of these communities tend to subscribe to urban lifestyles which negatively affect rural life which is still steeped in African traditions. Nonetheless, this research serves as an introduction to indigenous same sex discourse. It is worth noting that the participation of the traditional leaders such as the chiefs, the traditional council and traditional healers in the rural communities assisted immeasurably in finding a suitable approach to this sensitive issue. Moreover, as much as the study is about women, there are also male voices, as in rural communities, men are more vocal than women, particularly when it comes to sexual matters.
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    The place of women in the leadership of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFMZ)
    (2021) Mupangwa, Terence.; Moyo, Herbert.
    This study focusses on exposing the sources of the marginalization of women in the leadership of the AFMZ church. This study argues that women in the AFMZ have been marginalized in the church’s leadership which is evidenced by the ceremonial titles women have and yet they do not sit in decision making boards of the AFMZ. The marginalization is also evidenced by the fact that female pastors have never occupied the position of Overseer and President. Therefore, this study endorses mutuality and partnership between men and women in the leadership of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe. The research design was qualitative in which case data was collected through interviews and focus discussions, from sixty participants who were purposefully selected. The major finding of this study is that women are being marginalized in the leadership of the AFMZ due to a number of reasons such as, Few Female voters, The nomination process, Interpretation of the bible, Culture and Patriarchy, Tradition, AFMZ’s teaching on Marriage, The Holy Spirit has not given the directive and doubting the call of a woman among other things. Hence using the African feminist theology and the Feminist ecclesiology as theoretical frameworks, the ultimate goal is to advocate for an inclusive leadership model of leadership which uphold men and women working together in the leadership of the AFMZ. The study proposed an inclusive model of leadership in which it was suggested that teaching of liberation theology in the home, empowerment of women through education, solidarity, inclusion of gender studies at the AFMZ Theological seminary, learning from other circles and leadership renewal will facilitate the achievement of this model. However, it was acknowledged that the achievement of such a model may take time but hope for change is certain.
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    Social transformation from a biblical perspective: a contextual reading and interpretation of Luke 18:35-19:10 in rural Tanzania with reference to Mbinga Catholic Diocese.
    (2020-06-30) Kinunda, Quinbert Salvius.; Decock, Paul Bernard.
    This work is an attempt to read Luke 18:35-19:10 in the context of a poor rural community in Mbinga Catholic Diocese in Tanzania. For its theoretical grounding, the study uses both liberation hermeneutics and African contextual approaches to guide and inspire a critical reading of the selected biblical text. Lk 18:35-19:10 consists of two short episodes that mirror two social extremes in most human communities: the poor, represented by a nameless blind beggar (18:35-43), and the affluent, as represented by Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector (19:1-10). The aim of reading these stories in the Contextual Bible Study (CBS) with poor rural people was to invite them to begin considering biblical texts as a lens through which their socio-cultural and economic realities could be examined, reflected upon and, perhaps, addressed at a spiritual and practical level. When interacting with the poor, one notices that they are endowed with wisdom, knowledge and a perspective unique to them. However, for years in Biblical Scholarship, especially in the Catholic tradition, ‘knowledge from the underside of history’ (in the words of Gutiérrez), was not given an opportunity to express itself. In response to this oversight, the CBS, as propagated by Gerald West, provides ordinary readers with the space they need to examine and articulate, from their own perspective, their concerns and insights in the light of faith and the Word of God. The role of a trained reader remains that of facilitating the CBS process, and of enabling ordinary people to become flesh and blood readers. As the poor closely read Lk 18:35-19:10, they try, to the best of their ability, to retrieve and pay attention to components that focus on their own liberation from oppressive socio-cultural and economic structures. The story of the blind beggar functions as a metaphor for individuals (or nations) who think that they cannot make ends meet without receiving alms or foreign aid. A change of mindset is recommended in order to begin looking for solutions from within. Blindness also serves as a metaphor in the Zacchaeus episode for unethical leaders, whose reason is clouded by dishonesty and an unhealthy attachment to material wealth that ultimately blinds them to the demands of social justice. The thesis’ main concern, therefore, has been that of seeking to engage the ordinary readers in the struggle against rural poverty.
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    Women's education and sexual reproductive health rights: a case of African apostolic indigineous churches of Tanwena area Nyanga, Zimbabwe.
    (2019) Tsara, Lindah; Siwila, Lilian Cheelo.
    This study uses a post-colonial feminist theory and African cultural feminist hermeneutics to investigate whether the teachings of the African Apostolic Indigenous Churches of Tangwena area have any influence on the girl child’s limited education and her sexual and reproductive health rights. This study was a qualitative empirical research where data was generated from both fieldwork and secondary sources. The study found out that the teachings of AAICs covered in this study though not stated precisely on the ground, have a role to play in the limited education and poor sexual and reproductive health rights of most of the girls who drop out from school and get married young in Tangwena area. Tendencies such as the teaching of a girl child to preserve her virginity before she gets married and how to be a good mother as taught in these churches prepared the girl child only to be destined for marriage. This made some of the girls powerless and end up lacking power over their sexual and reproductive rights. This study also found out that although AAICs teachings have a role to play in most of the girls’ limited education; there were other factors that have nothing to do with the church teachings that were also responsible for the girl child’s limited education in Tangwena area. These factors include lack of exposure to social and economic activities, failing of the major grade Seven and form Four National Examination which screens who is proceeding with education and who is left behind, and parental influence. This study concludes that it only requires social commitment of all the stakeholders of AAICs indicated in the study to uplift the girl child’s education in their teachings as a form of empowerment, and the only way that will delay girls from getting married so young and desist from getting married to people who are older to them, who will force them to be voiceless in the marriage as far as far as reproductive health rights are concerned.