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Traditional African Religions in South African Law

University of Cape Town Press

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ISBN 10: 1919895388 / ISBN 13: 9781919895383
Published by University of Cape Town Press, 2011
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Traditional African Religions in South ...

Publisher: University of Cape Town Press

Publication Date: 2011

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1st Edition - may be Reissue.

About this title


"Traditional African beliefs, together with African cultural traditions, are enjoying a new-found respect in South Africa, due in large part to the advent of the country's democratic constitution. In fact, a large majority of the South African populationadheres to some form of traditional belief, often in combination with observance of other religions. Even so, the traditional faiths are poorly understood and, in spite of constitutional guarantees, receive far from equal treatment, a situation quite at odds with the country's commitment to equality and religious and cultural diversity. Throughout Africa, there is a strong tendency to confound indigenous beliefs with culture. Because religion is always taken more seriously than culture, this means that traditional beliefs do not attract the respect they deserve. While there are numerous works on the subject of religion in Africa, there are no works on traditional African religions and their legal implications. The issue is nevertheless of serious political and legal concern in South Africa, since it raises diverse questions involving freedom of religion, the equal treatment of religions, traditional healing, witchcraft, animal sacrifice, circumcision, marriage and burial. The overall purpose of the titleis to consider whether indigenous African religions, independent African churches and traditional practices deserve constitutional protection and recognition by the state. If recognised, they will then become subject to certain state controls and benefits: the need for registration; the licensing of ministers as marriage officers (with consequences for the validity of customary and other marriages); and significantly, of course, tax exemptions. This title thus explores the legal and constitutional implications of traditional religion and, in particular, the state's intervention in religious matters."--Publisher's description.

About the Author:

Professor Thomas Bennett is Professor of Law at the University of Cape Town, and currently lectures in Conflict of Laws, Principles of Public International Law, and International Law on the Regulation of Disputes. He is a consultant and advisor on matters of human rights, customary law and international law to various NGOs and has written extensively on customary law.

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