Rachel C. Schneider

Rachel C. Schneider is a doctoral candidate in Religious Studies at Rice University and a visiting researcher at Wits Center for Diversity Studies in Johannesburg. Her research focuses on race, religion, and social transformation in contemporary South Africa.

Posts by Rachel C. Schneider:

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Jesus, religion, and revolution in the South African elections

In 2004 and 2008, South African president Jacob Zuma notoriously declared that his party, the African National Congress, will “rule until Jesus comes back.” The recent national election results favor his prediction with the ANC winning its fifth national election since 1994.

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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Mourning a political saint in Johannesburg

On December 6, 2013, I, along with millions of South Africans, woke to the news that Nelson Mandela had died. For the next ten days, South Africans would be plunged into a liminal period of commemoration: one marked by scenes of celebration, protest, and jubilation rather than tears and lament. As a white North American, conducting field research for my dissertation, this proved an incredible time of reflection. In what follows, I offer some snapshots of how Mandela was memorialized in Johannesburg and what this reveals about the current religious, political, and racial landscape.

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