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“It’s Only the Glass Door, Which Breaks Every Day.” Layered Politics of (Dis)Order at the Central Methodist Mission

  • Elina Hankela
Chapter
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)

Abstract

Thousands of people found shelter at the Central Methodist Mission (CMM) in inner-city Johannesburg between the early 2000s and the end of 2014. The consequent spatial transformation of the church building challenged the status quo inside and around it. Material dirt brought about by this ministry and the mere presence of homeless people tangibly impacted on order inside the church and simultaneously interfered with Johannesburg’s aspirations to rank as a world-class African city. By looking at place-making from the perspective of classifications of dirt and order, this chapter exposes Central as a layered place, or as multiple places in one space: the liberationist order of Central’s leader clashed with the city’s order of regeneration , while within the church different communities constructed fields of care that also disturbed one another. Thus, the leader’s order openly contested the city’s order, and the fields of care inside the church contested the common notions of places like Central as loci of mere survival. Despite the frames set by hegemonic orders (in the city, that of regeneration , and in the church, that represented by the leader), people constructed their own places that could not be contained by these orders. As a layered place, Central was perhaps a characteristic rather than unique space in the city of Johannesburg.

Keywords

African City Sunday Morning Liberation Theology Glass Door Capitalist Capitalism 
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

  • Elina Hankela
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Practical TheologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Research Institute for Theology and ReligionUniversity of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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