Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Religion and Development from Below: Independent Christianity in South Africa

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Religion in Africa

Most of the literature on African independent churches (AICs) in South Africa has not paid much attention to their economic and developmental role. In contrast, this article will show how AICs are involved in important economic activities such as voluntary mutual benefit societies, savings clubs, lending societies, stokvels (informal savings funds), and burial societies that control millions of South African rand. In light of firsthand empirical research, this article investigates these kinds of activities, and analyses independent churches’ developmental role. This will allow us to better understand how these communities play a strong and supportive function among Africans in a deprived economic situation. In a period of socio-political transformation in South Africa, AICs are able to answer the needs of the people and their hunger to rebuild an identity. My major critique of classical research on AICs is the failure of the literature to address ‘social change’ in a theoretically adequate way, as something more than just descriptions of ‘traditional’ social structures away from interpretations of modernity.

Affiliations: 1: Centre of African Studies Chrystal Macmillan Building, room 4.10 15A George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Religion in Africa — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation