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Religious Diversity and the Forma1'Ion of Closed Cultural Systems, or When Does Religion Turn Bad?

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image of Religion and Theology

This programmatic article investigates a single aspect of culture that regulates religious expression and the construction of identity. A brief overviem of four types of religio found in South Africa serves to illustrate the significant role of the media of communication in religious expression. Indigenous traditional religions operate within a pure oral culture, the Ibandla Amanazeretha of Isaiah Shembe operates within a 're-discovered' oral culture and Islam has its roots in an oral-manuscript culture, while conventional Protestantism has the heritage of a religion that operates within the culture of the printed media. The article finally considers the question of how a better understanding of religious culture can help to prevent religion from developing into a hegerreonic ideology. The article contributes to interdisciplinary debate.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Bibliological Studies University of Zululand Private Bag X 1001 1 KwaDlangezwa 3886 Republic of South Africa


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