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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Conversion or Continuum? The Spread of Islam Among African Women in Cape Town
Author:Lee, Rebekah
Year:2001
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Volume:27
Issue:2
Period:Winter
Pages:62-85
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Islam
religious conversion
Xhosa
urban women
Urbanization and Migration
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Cultural Roles
urbanization
conversion
gender
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02533950108458713
Abstract:This article examines the recent phenomenon of conversion to Islam occurring in predominantly African townships among Xhosa women. It is based on a series of in-depth interviews and two group interviews with Xhosa women in Cape Town, South Africa. The women's narratives of conversion largely carry a narrative of 'return' (back to a truer Xhosa self and in some sense a return to a truer, more noble Christianity). A profound sense of disillusionment with the Christian church often accompanied a decision to explore Islam. Though Islam appeared to offer these converts a radical departure from their previous lives, few chose to view it as such, and even fewer chose to practise it as such. Rather Islam was 'mapped' onto, or 'translated' into, existing cultural beliefs and practices. This was true for social networks as well. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract].
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