1st Edition

Afrikaners and the Boundaries of Faith in Post-Apartheid South Africa

By Annika Björnsdotter Teppo Copyright 2022
    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the shifting moral and spiritual lives of white Afrikaners in South Africa after apartheid.

    The end of South Africa’s apartheid system of racial and spatial segregation sparked wide-reaching social change as social, cultural, spatial and racial boundaries were transgressed and transformed. This book investigates how Afrikaners have mediated the country’s shifting boundaries within the realm of religion. For instance, one in every three Afrikaners used these new freedoms to leave the traditional Dutch Reformed Church (NGK), often for an entirely new religious affiliation within the Pentecostal or Charismatic churches, or New Religious Movements such as Wiccan neopaganism. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the Western Cape area, the book investigates what spiritual life after racial totalitarianism means for the members of the ethnic group that constructed and maintained that very totalitarianism. Ultimately, the book asks how these new Afrikaner religious practices contribute to social solidarity and integration in a persistently segregated society, and what they can tell us about racial relations in the country today.

    This book will be of interest to scholars of religious studies, social and cultural anthropology and African studies.

    Preface and Acknowledgements

    Introduction: Mixed Blessings

    Chapter 1: The Afrikaners and Their Church

    Chapter 2: Performing Whiteness

    Chapter 3: Cracked Laer

    Chapter 4: The Changing Religious Scene in Stellenbosch

    Chapter 5: Madams and Masters of Magic

    Chapter 6: "We Kept Everything, and We Changed Everything"

    Conclusion: South African Miracles



    Annika Björnsdotter Teppo is Associate Professor at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at Uppsala University, Sweden. Dr. Teppo has also been granted the title of docent (Associate Professor) in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland.