Escalating Crisis

Richard Werbner

in Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268531
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949461 | DOI:
Escalating Crisis

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This chapter traces the escalation of a crisis, leading to a schism in the church, and show how power struggles are seen in each of these contexts. The account documents the making of the schism as a highly public event and yet an event that shakes Apostolics in what they hold to be a deep, innermost truth of their lives, their faith in their church and as Apostolics. The fear they express is kgelogile, turning aside, backsliding—to become lapsed Christians. There is a much-repeated hymn sung when exorcists pile up the heap of uncovered demonic charms, things of witchcraft, and materials of bongaka ya setsho, traditional healing: The accusations against Boitshepelo Jakoba himself are felt to strike deeply at his honor, tlotlo. These include adultery, unholy sacrifice, misuse of church funds, false prophecy, and sinful breach of biblical commandments for priestly purity.

Keywords: schism; Apostolics; church; hymn; witchcraft; Boitshepelo Jakoba; adultery; false prophecy

Chapter.  8627 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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