1st Edition

Reconciliation and Religio-political Non-conformism in Zimbabwe

By Joram Tarusarira Copyright 2016
    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    Religio-political organisations in Zimbabwe play an important role in advocating democratisation and reconciliation, against acquiescent, silenced or co-opted mainstream churches. Reconciliation and Religio-political Non-conformism in Zimbabwe analyses activities of religious organisations that deviate from the position of mainline churches and the political elites with regard to religious participation in political matters, against a background of political conflict and violence. Drawing on detailed case studies of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA), Churches in Manicaland (CiM) and Grace to Heal (GtH), this book provocatively argues that in the face of an unsatisfactory religious and political culture, religio-political non-conformists emerge seeking to introduce a new ethos even in the face of negative sanctions from dominant religious and political systems.

    1 Religion, Society and Politics in Zimbabwe

    2 Secularisation, Sacralisation and Civil Society in Zimbabwe

    3 Democratisation, Reconciliation and Civil Society

    4 Understanding Religious Non-Conformism

    5 Historical Perspectives on Religio-Political Non-Conformism in Zimbabwe: From Colonial Rule to 1999

    6 Religio-Political Non-Conformism in Zimbabwe since 2000 to 2013

    7 Prospects for Religio-Political Non-Conformism in Zimbabwe - Contributions to Debates on Democratisation and Reconciliation

    8 The Prospects for Religio-political Non-Conformism in Zimbabwe – Maximizing Effective Action

    9 Conclusion


    Joram Tarusarira attained his PhD from the Institute for African Studies at the University of Leipzig (Germany), where he was a German Research Foundation doctoral candidate of the Research Training Group, "Religious Non-Conformism and Cultural Dynamics". His research interests, in which he has published journal articles and book chapters, include the role of religion in conflict and its transformation, religious non-conformism and cultural dynamics, religion and civil society, social movements, post-conflict reconciliation. His academic background is in the following disciplines: philosophy and religious studies, adult education and development studies, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconciliation studies. His academic experience has been enriched by studying in various countries: Zimbabwe, Canada, Ireland/ Northern Ireland and Germany.

    "This is a rich, informative and well researched book which contributes significantly to studies on churches in Zimbabwe." - Ezra Chitando, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

    "Joram Tarusarira has written a fascinating study, exploring the relationship between religion, society and politics in Zimbabwe. His account explains how religion is contributing to democratisation and reconciliation in the country, often written off as a basket case beyond redemption. Tarusarira shows that the often subtle interplay between religious and secular political actors can contribute to post-conflict rebuilding in Zimbabwe and hopefully to help heal the wounds of the past. I thoroughly recommend the book for anyone interested in the intricacies of the relationship between politics and religion in Africa." - Jeffrey Haynes, London Metropolitan University, UK

    "Joram Tarusarira offers a thorough, up-to-date and compelling analysis of the role of religion in contemporary Zimbabwe. Pushing beyond studies that focus on Zimbabwe's mainline churches, Tarusarira draws on excellent fieldwork to analyse the religio-political organisations that are working on the ground to promote reconciliation. His development of the concept of religious non-conformism, which explains how such organisations are well-equipped to spark change, is a valuable contribution to the social scientific study of religion. This book deserves a wide readership among those interested in the relationships between religion, politics, reconciliation and social change."Gladys Ganiel, Queen's University Belfast, UK