A number of Christian churches in South Africa have proclaimed their commitment to reconciliation and the elimination of unjust inequalities. This study analyses how these commitments are being worked out at the micro-level of a congregation. Using an ethnographic approach, I explore how a charismatic congregation in Cape Town has changed from being nearly all-white to being more inclusive. I explore links between individual, cognitive identity change and institutional change; and consider the discourses which justify change, including their emphasis on 'unity in diversity' and 'restitution'. I outline the limitations of change, including the persistence of 'racialised' leadership structures and the discursive privileging of unity over restitution. This allows us to understand how micro-level changes take place, to explore their potentialities and limitations, and to apply these insights to other contexts.


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pp. 1-22
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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