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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Making a Good Death: AIDS and Social Belonging in an Independent Church in Gaborone
Author:Klaits, FrederickISNI
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Subjects:African Independent Churches
Health and Nutrition
Religion and Witchcraft
Urbanization and Migration
AIDS (Disease)
Old Naledi (Gaborone, Botswana)
Baitshepi Apostolic Church (Gaborone, Botswana)
social change
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40980208
Abstract:A case study of the illness and death of a young woman member of the Baitshepi (Saints) Apostolic Church (pseudonym), an independent church in Old Naledi, a former squatter community in Gaborone, Botswana, illustrates the ways in which church members come to terms with one another's illness and death, and suggests that the primary anxiety of church members is to transform experiences of illness and death into affirmations of their faith and social loyalties. The intentions of church participants in caring for and subsequently commemorating the young woman who died were not to make use of her illness as an occasion to warn others against AIDS, but to diminish the violence of her death by asserting her worth as a faithful member of the church community. The author explores the multiple social and emotional significances of caretaking, of death, and of the religious and medical languages in which suffering is discussed, based on some two years of participant observation in 1993, 1995, 1997-1998. He suggests that rather than associate AIDS with immoral behaviour, AIDS prevention programmes in Botswana need to find ways to build on people's affirmations of social belonging in the context of suffering. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.