https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2016.1267409">
 

Abstract

Swaziland faces one of the worst HIV epidemics in the world and is a site for the current global health campaign in sub-Saharan Africa to medically circumcise the majority of the male population. Given that Swaziland is also majority Christian, how does the most popular religion influence acceptance, rejection or understandings of medical male circumcision? This article considers interpretive differences by Christians across the Kingdom’s three ecumenical organisations, showing how a diverse group people singly glossed as ‘Christian’ in most public health acceptability studies critically rejected the procedure in unity, but not uniformly. Participants saw medical male circumcision’s promotion and messaging as offensive and circumspect, and medical male circumcision as confounding gendered expectations and sexualised ideas of the body in Swazi Culture. Pentecostal-charismatic churches were seen as more likely to accept medical male circumcision, while traditionalist African Independent Churches rejected the operation. The procedure was widely understood to be a personal choice, in line with New Testament-inspired commitments to metaphorical circumcision as a way of receiving God’s grace.

Publication Date

1-2017

Journal Title

Culture, Health & Sexuality

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2016.1267409

Document Type

Article

Comments

This is an Author’s Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Culture, Health & Sexuality in 2017, available online: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2016.1267409