African Studies and African Country Resources @ Pitt: Botswana
This guide provides selected high-quality resources on the global, political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the continent of Africa and its countries. It features individual country pages as well as sources searchable by topic or country.
The postcolonial state of Botswana is best understood as a unique, complex formation, one that arose through the meeting of European ideas and practices with the symbolism and hierarchies of authority, rooted in the cosmologies of indigenous polities, and both have become integral to the formation of a strong state with a stable government. Yet there are destabilizing potentialities in progress due to emerging class conflict between all the poor sections of the population and the privileged modern elites born of the expansion of a beef and diamond-driven political economy. These transformations of the modern state are viewed from the long-term perspectives of precolonial and colonial genealogies and the rise of structures of domination, propelled by changing global forces.
This book examines the charismatic Christian reformation presently underway in Botswana's time of AIDS and the moral crisis that divides the church between the elders and the young, apostolic faith healers. Richard Werbner focuses on Eloyi, an Apostolic faith-healing church in Botswana's capital. Werbner shows how charismatic "prophets"--holy hustlers--diagnose, hustle, and shock patients during violent and destructive exorcisms. He also shows how these healers enter into prayer and meditation and take on their patients' pain and how their ecstatic devotions create an aesthetic in which beauty beckons God.