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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The sacrifice of flesh and blood: male circumcision in Ibandla lamaNazaretha as a Biblical and African ritual
Author:Sithole, Nkosinathi
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion (ISSN 1011-7601)
Geographic term:South Africa
African Independent Churches
Abstract:Male circumcision is an African phenomenon that has been in existence for thousands of years, dating back to the precolonial era. In South Africa, King Shaka (1790-1828) put an end to this practice among the Zulu, but Isaiah Shembe (1870-1935), founder of the Ibandla lamaNazaretha or Church of the Nazarites, brought it back. Although Ibandla lamaNazaretha started around 1910 as a local and ethnically specific church in KwaZulu Natal, today it has a strong national following and is considered to be one of the largest African Initiated Churches in the country. Isaiah Shembe forged his church by blending Christian and African practices, many of the latter being prohibited in mainstream churches. The kind of circumcision Shembe reintroduced was also a hybrid form, combining the precolonial ritual practice and the Israelites' biblical one based on Abraham's covenant with God. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]