Eyes to See and Ears to Hear: Negotiating Religion in Alexandra Township

  • Becca Hartman-Pickerill
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


From the unapologetic and sustained sounds of worship to brick-and-mortar prominence, and processions on the streets, African Initiated Churches, Mainline Protestants and Catholics, and Pentecostals have all developed different ways to claim a place in Alexandra Township, South Africa. The political economy of space frames the distinct features that permeate across religious communities: physical and relational spaces of refuge and opportunity are built on a shared identity that necessitates division: the level of engagement and tactics used to navigate bureaucracy vary widely by economic capacity amid intense competition; and the exercise of power or claims of authority and legitimacy are constantly re-negotiated by local, regional and transnational networks. These aspects are best conveyed through thick descriptions of diverse religious communities’ sights and sounds, the physical and the ephemeral, and the experienced and the eternal as they vie for space in the one square mile Johannesburg Township of Alexandra.


Religious Community Church Member Worship Service Church Community Backyard Shack 
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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Key Informants

  1. Freddie Chauke, Pastor, Shilo Bible ChurchGoogle Scholar
  2. Ephram, Pastor and Manager, Izinyosi Apostolic Church of ZionGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhengu Fakalieoshwa, Pastor, Izinyosi Apostolic Church of ZionGoogle Scholar
  4. Om Gomad, Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern AfricaGoogle Scholar
  5. Mark Makane, Elder, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern AfricaGoogle Scholar
  6. Michael Shezi, Pastor and President, Izinyosi Apostolic Church of ZionGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Becca Hartman-Pickerill
    • 1
  1. 1.Interfaith Youth CoreChicagoUSA

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