Religion and HIV and AIDS: Charting the terrain launched in 2011



Religion and HIV and AIDS, Charting the Terrain, published by UKZN press, was launched on the 5th of October 2011. This book explores the interface between HIV, AIDS and religion and makes a significant contribution to a growing body of scholarship that recognizes the importance of religious engagement with the reality of HIV and AIDS.  In many communities, the spiritual narrative is far more compelling that its bio-medical equivalent, making interdisciplinary collaboration crucial. The project that gave birth to this book brought together scholars from the fields of religion and theology and activists from local communities.

Its content captures the collaborative character of the book and each chapter is accompanied by a practitioner response. Existing scholarly literature was analysed and interrogated in the context of local community knowledge. The task was to understand what work has been done; and to discern what remains to be done. The book has a strong African focus with local forms of Christianity and Islam featuring prominently. For copies contact UZKN press( or +27 (0) 33 260 5255) or / .

Click here to see photo's of the launch

"The Cartography of HIV and AIDS, Religion and Theology"

CHART has coordinated this international research project from 2008 – 2011. The primary purpose of this project being to survey and analyse what has already been done in the interface between religion and theology, HIV and AIDS. We realise that it is irresponsible to pursue research in this interface without assessing what has already been accomplished in different contexts and across an array of disciplines. We will only understand what future research needs to be done when we have a realistic picture of existing research. In order to do this mapping and analytical work, three major research areas were identified: Religious and Theological Disciplines; Health categories; and Social categories. Fifteen researchers working in academic institutions and fifteen key activist-intellectuals working in an NGO or faith-based organisation was identified to facilitate the work of this project. The key researcher was expected to survey as widely as possible the published literature in a particular area, drawing on the expertise of other international researchers.

At the dinner hosted by UKZN are, left to right: Dr Ezra Chitando (EHAIA, University of Zimbabwe), Ms Faghmieda Muller (Positive Muslims), Dr Beverley Haddad (UKZN), Prof Steve de Gruchy (UKZN), Ms Shahieda Abrahams (Positive Muslims); Prof Fikile Mazibuko (DVC College of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences, UKZN); Prof Donal McCracken (Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences, UKZN), Ms Bongi Zengele, Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research
CHART then hosted an international research workshop for 34 academics and activists as part of the research project 'The Cartography of HIV and AIDS, Religion and Theology". The workshop was held in Durban, South Africa from 12th -17th October 2008. Representatives from 14 different countries spanning four continents were present. Lively debate around the mapping of work already accomplished in the field of religion and HIV and AIDS took place as did the establishment of a network of academics and activists that have chosen to continue to work together on the project. Out of this project a book titled, “Religion and HIV and AIDS: Charting the terrain” is to be published by UKZN Press and will be launched late 2011.