Religion As a Tool for Legitimization of the Political Institutions – Lessons from the Anglican Church Crisis in Zimbabwe

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:10
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Lovemore NDLOVU, Maranatha Christian University, Zimbabwe
Sociologists of religion have noted that there are some situations when religion provides explicit legitimizations of the political power apparatus. Examples include instances when churches support political projects or political parties. To contribute to this debate, the author examines the Anglican Church crisis in Zimbabwe. The study finds that the Anglican power struggles are closely linked with the power struggles in politics, and different political players used the church for political mobilisation and legitimization, in their quest for power. The study demonstrates the infiltration of the church by political players and how they used the church for political leverage. The study concludes by noting that in the case of Zimbabwe, religion and politics are intertwined and it is difficult to draw a demarcation between the two. Religion is thus used as a tool to legitimize the political power institutions.