Rune Flikke

Flikke has worked with Zulu Zionism around Durban, South Africa. His current project traces conceptions of nature, landscape alterations, and air as a contact zone in South Africa through the colonial contact zone into contemporary Zulu Zionist healing practices. Flikke’s PhD project was entitled “Curing the Ills of History: From Colonial Public Health to Hygiene and Healing in Contemporary South African Independent Churches.” The project traces the history of epidemics, changes in biomedical discourses on health, hygiene, and contagion. He argues that the notion of race, which emerged through these discourses, was foundational for the development of segregationist policies. A central aspect of this approach is that the study accentuates how segregation and apartheid was embedded in a dialogue between liberal values and medical sciences faced with epidemic threats, existential insecurity, and risk assessment. This background provides the foundation to a reassessment of previous studies of Zulu Zionist healing rituals.

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