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Faith and the Intersubjectivity of Care in Botswana

Frederick Klaits
Africa Today
Vol. 56, No. 1, Special Issue: Christianity and HIV/AIDS in East and Southern Africa (Fall 2009), pp. 2-20
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/aft.2009.56.1.2
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/aft.2009.56.1.2
Page Count: 20
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Faith and the Intersubjectivity of Care in Botswana
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Abstract

In encouraging men and women to rethink the moral bases of sexual relations, HIV/AIDS-prevention campaigns commonly entail efforts to reshape their subjectivities. This article relates conceptions of morally correct forms of subjectivity to religious understandings of proper speech to and about God. Historically, experiences with sexually transmitted diseases in Botswana have compelled family members to imagine and reshape the nature of their caregiving sentiments toward one another. Thus, for members of a church of the spirit in Gaborone, expressing faith in God so as to heal the sick and console the bereaved is a means of authorizing certain forms of intersubjectivity, rather than of asserting self-determining agency. AIDS-control policies ought to be designed to enhance people's capacities to care for one another properly, and to avoid reinforcing distinctions between healthy and sickly lives.

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