SPEAKER MEANING ATTRIBUTED TO THE TERMS SALVATION AND INSINDISO IN SELECTED MAINLINE AND INDEPENDENT CHURCH CONTEXTS

Nick Kerr, Frenette Southwood

Abstract


This study was conducted to ascertain what meanings the terms salvation, saved,
and their isiZulu equivalents have for some Zulu Christians. Semi-structured
interviews were conducted with nine mother-tongue speakers of isiZulu varying in
terms of age, gender, church affiliation and level of theological training. It
transpired that both the English and isiZulu terms have undergone selective
semantic narrowing: Apart from having their conventional meaning (pertaining to a
personal acceptance of the redemptive work of Christ), these terms also imply for
some Christians (specifically Evangelical and Pentecostal Zulus) an exclusive,
validating spiritual experience precluding any involvement with ancestral practices.
Consequently, one is viewed as saved only if one denounces certain apparently evil
cultural practices, particularly those pertaining to ancestors. As other isiZuluspeaking
Christians disagree with this narrowed meaning, and as mother-tongue
speakers of English are generally unaware of it, indiscriminate use of these terms
could lead to intercultural miscommunication of a complex nature.

Keywords


Salvation, Ukusindiswa, Insindiso, Zulu, Isizulu, Miscommunication

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/102-0-612

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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