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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Old wine in new wine skins: tombstone unveiling as a case of religious innovation and change in Zimbabwean Christianity
Author:Zwana, SolmonISNI
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:religious rituals
African religions
Abstract:This paper discusses the tombstone unveiling ceremony, a recent phenomenon among Shona Christians in Zimbabwe, as a case of religious innovation and change common in mainline churches in the country. The practice became common in the 1980s. Historically, many church doctrines and practices have been negative towards African traditional religions. Among the main contentions is the suspicion among some Christians, that tombstone unveiling services are a disguised form of the Shona traditional ritual of 'kurova guva', a life cycle ritual which is performed six or more months after the death of a family member. Shona Christians have reacted by trying to accommodate the two religious traditions through efforts to replace some Shona religious practices with similar conceptual categories anchored in Christianity. Beyond the reactions of accommodation and replacement are external social factors which include modernization and urbanization. It is noted that the dynamics of religious change are not only located at the points of contact between the two religious traditions but are also internal. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]