n Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - Religious beliefs and climate change adaptation : a study of three rural South African communities - original research

Volume 10 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1996-1421
  • E-ISSN: 2072-845X



This article argues that religious beliefs significantly influence a community’s understanding and experience of climate change adaptation, indicating the need for an inclusion of such information in climate change adaptation education. Data were collected using the Q-method, whereby recurring statements were identified from semi-structured interviews with participants from three rural communities in the North-West province of South Africa: Ikageng, Ventersdorp and Jouberton. The research found that community members who regard themselves as religious (overall of the Christian faith) fall under two groups: the religious determinists or fatalists, who see climate as a natural process that is governed by God, and religious participants who deny this ‘naturalness’ and acknowledge humans’ impact on the climate.

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