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Negotiating the Boundary
The Response of Kwa Mashu Zionists to a Volatile Political Climate
Until 1994, the year South Africa experienced her first democratic elections, the country was notorious for its ruthless apartheid policy and its violent political climate. By then, the antagonism between the recently unbanned black political parties had reached its pathetic peak. Among those who had to bear the impact of intimidation, violence and murder were the Zulu Zionists. Being part of the African Independent Churches, Zulu Zionists have always been apolitical and against any form of violence. Yet, how were they able to uphold their religious principals and ideals in a time where being impartial meant to sympathise with the political adversary?
During 22 months of fieldwork, the author observed how Zulu Zionists in the township of Kwa Mashu, Durban, "walked the tightrope" in order to maintain their identity as apolitical and peace loving christians.
"I consider it an original and extremely good account of most difficult and indeed dangerous field research." ..."... it is work of considerable distinction ..." John Middleton, Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies Emeritus, Yale University
"The thesis is an excellent account based upon able, meticulous and very difficult field research and upon deep scholarly knowledges in every chapter" J P Kiernan - Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Natal, Durban / South Africa.
Matthias Mohr is a social Anthropologist. He was researcher at the Department of Social Anthropolgy at the University of Natal, Durban between 1989-93. Presently he works as management consultant in Germany.