Major(s)

International Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies

Minor(s)

Spanish

Mentor Name

Ralph Keen

Mentor Department

Religious Studies

Presentation Date

3-25-2010

Abstract

The Nazareth Baptist Church in South Africa is a unique mixture of traditional Zulu religion and Christianity that has been combined to create a new religious movement. The church, which has a following of around 5 million people, has often been labeled as a Zulu pride movement. My research project examines this claim in the post-Apartheid era to see whether Zulu pride still runs strong in the church and to what extent it does. I also look at the question of identity, and whether followers primarily identify themselves by their racial, ethnic, or religious qualities. South Africa provides researchers with an opportunity to study identity change. A better understanding of the power of identity change and group dynamics allows us to better understand how to cure other problems within society. For example, a understanding of the group identity will allow future aid-workers to find the best possible ways of fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is plaguing South Africa. It can also help combat the high poverty rates. As Iowans, these problems are human rights issues that we can take an active part in to ensure the freedom of others.

Rights

Copyright © 2010 Brian M Buh

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Mar 25th, 12:00 AM

A Mixture of Identities: A Look at Zulu Nationalism in the Nazareth Baptist Church

The Nazareth Baptist Church in South Africa is a unique mixture of traditional Zulu religion and Christianity that has been combined to create a new religious movement. The church, which has a following of around 5 million people, has often been labeled as a Zulu pride movement. My research project examines this claim in the post-Apartheid era to see whether Zulu pride still runs strong in the church and to what extent it does. I also look at the question of identity, and whether followers primarily identify themselves by their racial, ethnic, or religious qualities. South Africa provides researchers with an opportunity to study identity change. A better understanding of the power of identity change and group dynamics allows us to better understand how to cure other problems within society. For example, a understanding of the group identity will allow future aid-workers to find the best possible ways of fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is plaguing South Africa. It can also help combat the high poverty rates. As Iowans, these problems are human rights issues that we can take an active part in to ensure the freedom of others.