Writing ‘naturecultures’ in Zulu Zionist healing

  • Rune Flikke


In this article my primary aim is to argue for an ontological and phenomenological approach to studying healing rituals within the African Independent Churches in South Africa. Through ethnographic evidence I will argue that the healing rituals are misrepresented in more traditional epistemologically tuned studies, and suggest that a better understanding is to be achieved through a focus on Latour’s ‘natures-cultures’ or Haraway’s ‘naturecultures’, thus showing how health and well-being are achieved through a creative process which continuously strive to break down any distinction of nature and culture as separate entities. I conclude by arguing that the contemporary healing rituals, which surfaced in South Africa in the mid eighteen-seventies, were a sensible and experience based reactions to the colonial contact zones of a racist Colonial regime dependent on African labor.


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