This dissertation, which is based on field research carried out between February 2007 and September 2008, examines the role of religion, notably traditional religion and Christianity, in disputing processes in Gorongosa, a rural district in central Mozambique. It compares the religiously oriented modes of disputing with the secular and formal modes of conflict resolution advocated by government actors. After an outline of the theoretical and historical context of the research, the book describes the role of religion in people's lives and the religious plurality which characterizes the region. It then focuses on conflict mediation, the role of religious authorities (spirit mediums, Christian pastors), the role of religion in dispute management in the police station and the district court, as well as in semi-government structures such as the community court. Finally, it discusses the phenomenon of 'justice with one's own hands', which is gaining momentum in Mozambique. The study reveals that different religions provide different normative orientations that strongly impact modes of disputing, not only within the religious realm but also within secular realms of disputing. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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Year of publication: 2010
Series: African Studies Collection
Volume: 28
Carolien Jacobs
African Studies Centre
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