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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:On top of which mountain does one stand to judge religion? Debates from a Zimbabwean context
Authors:Chitando, EzraISNI
Mapuranga, Tapiwa P.
Taringa, Nisbert T.
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion (ISSN 1011-7601)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:religious studies
Apostolic Church of John Maranke
Abstract:The scholar of religion is encouraged to refrain from passing judgement on the truth or ethical status of the phenomena under investigation. Instead, the scholar must concern himself/herself with accurate descriptions. While for phenomenology of religion such a stance represents victory against reductionism of various kinds, it has come under fierce criticism. Critics charge that there are some situations that clearly call for judging religious phenomena. In response, phenomenologists of religion raise the fundamental question: on top of which mountain does one stand to judge religion? This article addresses this fundamental question in a Zimbabwean context. In the first section it outlines the phenomenological preoccupation with descriptive accuracy and adopting a non-judgemental approach to the study of religion. In the section section it highlights criticisms that have been levelled against such a stance. In the third section it describes contentious religious phenomena in the African Apostolic Church of Johane Marange in Zimbabwe. In the fourth section it identifies and critiques the different 'mountains' that scholars may climb as they seek as they judge controversial religious phenomena in Zimbabwe. The article tests the possibility of going beyond phenomenology with reference to contentious religious practices. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]