Witchcraft and the Moral Philosophy of Ubuntu Are Entangled: Implications for HIV/AIDS Communication in South Africa

  • Colin ChasiEmail author
Part of the Global Transformations in Media and Communication Research - A Palgrave and IAMCR Series book series (GTMCR)


Belief in witchcraft is considered a significant basis for misconceptions that lead to people failing to understand the medical science of HIV/AIDS in ways that exacerbate the epidemic. Overcoming belief in witchcraft is seen as an essential indicator of movement towards adoption of belief in medical science and the avoidance of high-risk HIV-related behaviours. Yet people can understand and believe in the medical science of HIV/AIDS, while also believing that witchcraft plays a hand in how certain individuals are more predisposed to harm associated with HIV/AIDS than others. Through discussion of witchcraft and violence against alleged witches, this chapter advances new understandings of how witchcraft and the moral philosophy of Ubuntu are entangled, with implications for present and future communication on HIV/AIDS. A distinctive and significant conclusion is that it is important for scholars to move beyond narrow views that locate health options in the realm of confrontations between the West and the rest towards more nuanced and complex readings. Such readings should take into account how goodness is itself entangled with practices such as witchcraft, and how the world has many poles which are interrelated in complex ways.


Traditional Healing African Philosophy Collective Violence African Leader Internal Belief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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