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‘Faithful Men of a Faithful God’? Masculinities in the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa

In: Exchange
Authors:
Ezra Chitando Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy, University of Zimbabwe chitsa21@yahoo.com

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KudzaiBiri Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy, University of Zimbabwe kudzibiri@gmail.com

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Abstract

Many scholars have examined masculinities in African societies. However, these examinations cannot be generalised across Africa, given the socio-cultural, economic, political and historical factors that infringe with religious beliefs. This article offers a case study of masculinities in a specific religious context, the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (zaoga), a Pentecostal church. It utilises zaoga’s teachings on masculinities against the background of Shona religion and culture (the dominant ethnic group in Zimbabwe). The analysis specifically focuses on the role of the Jesus-figure in the discourse on masculinity in zaoga, exploring whether Jesus presents a model of ‘redemptive masculinity’ or rather reinforces hegemonic notions of masculinity. The article highlights the ambiguity of Pentecostal masculinity and offers an overall critique of the effects of masculinities upon Pentecostal faith and practice.

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