n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - A new man for a new era? Zimbabwean Pentecostalism, masculinities, and the HIV epidemic

Volume 35, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



Pentecostalism has emerged as a highly significant phenomenon on the religious map of Africa. A number of dimensions of African Pentecostalism, including the gospel of prosperity, its phenomenal growth in Africa, appropriation of media technologies, and others have come under scholarly scrutiny. However, very few studies have examined the theme of African Pentecostalism and HIV, with particular reference to masculinities. Using examples from Zimbabwean Pentecostalism, this article illustrates how Pentecostalism posits the ideal of 'a new man for a new era'. It examines how Pentecostalism seeks to nurture soft masculinities in the wake of the HIV epidemic. The article interrogates the liberating qualities of the new masculinities emerging from Zimbabwean Pentecostalism. It acknowledges that, while the ideals posited by Zimbabwean Pentecostalism are impressive, they have built-in limitations as they continue to be influenced by the old paradigm of male supremacy. The article proposes that liberating masculinities in the HIV era must promote gender justice.

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