This book explores the nature, significance and consequences of the religious activism surrounding AIDS in Africa. While African religion was relatively marginal in inspiring or contributing to AIDS activism during the early days of the epidemic, this situation has changed dramatically. In order to account for these changes, contributors provide answers to pressing questions. How does the entrance of religion into public debates about AIDS affect policymaking and implementation, church-state relations, and religion itself? How do religious actors draw on and reconfigure forms of transnational connectivity? How do resource flows from development and humanitarian aid that religious actors may access then affect relationships of power and authority in African societies? How does religious mobilization on AIDS reflect contestation over identity, cultural membership, theology, political participation, and citizenship?
Addressing these questions, the authors draw on social movement theories to explore the role of religious identities, action frames, political opportunity structures, and resource mobilization in African religions’ reaction to the AIDS epidemic. The book’s findings are rooted in fieldwork conducted in Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Mozambique, among a variety of religious organizations. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Canadian Journal of African Studies.
Table of Contents
1. The politics and anti-politics of social movements: religion and HIV/AIDS in Africa Marian Burchardt, Amy S. Patterson and Louise Mubanda Rasmussen
2. Can charity and rights-based movements be allies in the fight against HIV/AIDS? Bridging mobilisations in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa Patricia Siplon
3. Pastors as leaders in Africa’s religious AIDS mobilisation: cases from Ghana and Zambia Amy S. Patterson
4. "To donors, it’s a program, but to us it’s a ministry": the effects of donor funding on a community-based Catholic HIV/AIDS initiative in Kampala Louise Mubanda Rasmussen
5. HIV/AIDS activism, framing and identity formation in Mozambique’s Equipas de Vida Rebecca J. Vander Meulen, Amy S. Patterson and Marian Burchardt
6. The abstinence campaign and the construction of the Balokole identity in the Ugandan Pentecostal movement Alessandro Gusman
7. Yao migrant communities, identity construction and social mobilisation against HIV and AIDS through circumcision schools in Zimbabwe Anusa Daimon
Marian Burchardt is a sociologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany. His research explores regimes of religious diversity, secularism, and the politics of urban space. He has published in the Journal of Religion in Africa, Sociology of Religion, Comparative Sociology, and Oxford Development Studies.
Amy S. Patterson is Professor of Politics at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, USA. Her research interests include religion and health in Africa. She has published The Politics of AIDS in Africa and The Church and AIDS in Africa, as well as articles in Africa Today, Contemporary Politics, and Journal of Modern African Studies.
Louise Mubanda Rasmussen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Society and Globalisation at Roskilde University, Denmark. Her research explores the anthropology of development in areas such as AIDS, religion, NGO practice and celebrity intervention. She has published in Culture, Health & Sexuality, Journal of Progressive Human Services and Canadian Journal of African Studies.