1st Edition

Religion and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Southern Africa

Edited By Fortune Sibanda, Tenson Muyambo, Ezra Chitando Copyright 2022
    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the role of religion in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Southern Africa.

    Building on a diverse range of methodologies and disciplinary approaches, the book reflects on how religion, politics and health have interfaced in Southern African contexts, when faced with the sudden public health emergency caused by the pandemic. Religious actors have played a key role on the frontline throughout the pandemic, sometimes posing roadblocks to public health messaging, but more often deploying their resources to help provide effective and timely responses. Drawing on case studies from African indigenous knowledge systems, Islam, Rastafari and various forms of Christianity, this book provides important reflections on the role of religion in crisis response.

    This book will be of interest to researchers across the fields of African Studies, Health, Politics and Religious Studies.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at

    http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Religion and Public Health in the Shadow of COVID-19 Pandemic in Southern Africa

    Fortune Sibanda, Tenson Muyambo and Ezra Chitando

    Chapter 2: Exploring the Ethics of Ubuntu in the Era of COVID-19

    Beatrice Okyere-Manu and Stephen Nkansah Morgan

    Chapter 3: Social Distancing in the Context of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe: Perspectives From Ndau Religious Indigenous Knowledge Systems

    Tenson Muyambo

    Chapter 4: Coping with the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources from Ndau Indigenous Religion

    Macloud Sipeyiye

    Chapter 5: Living with COVID-19 in Zimbabwe: A Religious and Scientific Healing Response

    Bernard Pindukai Humbe

    Chapter 6: Religion, Law and COVID-19 in South Africa

    Helena Van Coller and Idowu A Akinloye

    Chapter 7: Tele-evangelism, Tele-health and Cyberbullying in the Wake of the Outbreak of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe

    Lucia Ponde-Mutsvedu and Sophia Chirongoma

    Chapter 8: The Role of Religion in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Challenges in Tanzania

    Paskas Wagana

    Chapter 9: COVID-19 Containment Measures and ‘Prophecies’ in Kenya

    Julius Gathogo

    Chapter 10: Christian Religious Understandings and Responses to COVID-19 in Eswatini

    Sonene Nyawo

    Chapter 11: Standing together in Faith through the Time of COVID-19: The Responses of Church Umbrella Bodies in Zambia

    Nelly Mwale and Joseph Chita

    Chapter 12: Churches and COVID-19 in Botswana

    Tshenolo J. Madigele and James N. Amanze

    Chapter 13: The Coronavirus Pandemic and Persons with Disabilities: Towards a Liberating Reading of the Bible for Churches in Southern Africa

    Makomborero Allen Bowa

    Chapter 14: The Influence of Health Perceptions on Zimbabwe Muslim Responses to COVID-19 Restrictions over Ramadan, Pilgrimages and Funeral Rites in 2020

    Edmore Dube

    Chapter 15: Repositioning the Agency of Rastafari in the Context of COVID-19 Crisis in Zimbabwe and Malawi

    Fortune Sibanda

    Chapter 16: ‘When a Pandemic Wears the Face of a Woman’: Intersections of Religion and Gender during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe

    Molly Manyonganise

    Chapter 17: Religion and COVID-19 in Southern Africa: Implications for the Discourse on Religion and Development

    Ezra Chitando



    Fortune Sibanda (DPhil) is a Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo.

    Tenson Muyambo (DPhil) lectures in the Department of Teacher Development at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

    Ezra Chitando (DPhil) serves as a Professor in History and Phenomenology of Religion at the University of Zimbabwe, and Theology Consultant on HIV and AIDS in Africa for the World Council of Churches.

    "Religion and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Southern Africa is a thought-provoking and groundbreaking book. It highlights contextual thought frames for managing contagious pandemics destabilizing a continent’s economic and health development, as well as therole of religion in this endeavor. Undoubtedly, these insights would steer sound preparedness in the event of another contagious pandemic of this nature and magnitude. The book is, therefore, well-worth reading to all audiences; students, medical doctors, researchers, religious leaders, and political leaders. It is a call to inclusion, not exclusion."

    Telesia K. Musili, Equinox Publishing Ltd., Kenya