The Thursdays as They Live: Christian Religious Transformation and Gender Relations in Postwar Gorongosa, Central Mozambique

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Victor Igreja Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Brisbane, Australia

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Béatrice Dias Lambranca Independent Researcher, QLD 4068, Brisbane, Australia

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This paper focuses on gendered processes of socialization experienced by Christian religious groups in different Christian churches in post-civil war Gorongosa, a district in the centre of Mozambique. Discourses of radical social transformation through Christian interventions and experiences are prominent among Christians, both men and women. Yet a comprehensive and longitudinal analysis of the social world in which the Christian groups are embedded and the performances of Christian men and women demonstrates the emergence of complex processes of transformation and continuities with local cultural beliefs and practices that many non-Christians have partially or thoroughly reformed or abandoned. These changes and continuities also encompass the manifestation of fluid forms of submission and creativity, and masculinities and femininities against the ideological notion of thoroughly new and closed Christian identities. The overall analysis suggests that the tension between the practices of change and continuity are necessary in order to create and sustain the legitimacy of the various Christian groups in Gorongosa.

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