Religion and Emerging Technologies in Zimbabwe: Contesting for Space?

Kudzai Biri


This paper examines the impact of emerging technologies on religion in the Zimbabwean context with a focus
on Pentecostalism. There exists an old-age debate on whether the relationship between science and religion is
characterised by conflict or by concord. This debate led to belief in some circles that with rapid progress and
development of technology, religion would be relegated at the periphery of society and as an ancient heritage would
become marginal to life. This study explores this relationship by analysing how Zimbabwean Pentecostalism has
embraced the media technologies in their evangelistic enterprise. Pentecostals in Zimbabwe have seized upon the
emerging technologies to evangelise and expand to the diaspora. This appropriation of the media technologies
and the popularity of the religious media in Zimbabwe is a sign that religion has responded well to emerging
technologies and thus are existing in their own right. Are they co-existing or contesting for the space? In a bid to
answer the question, the study explores the relationship and utilizes Pentecostal theology with regards to technology
derivable from the Bible to argue that religion and emerging technologies share space because Pentecostals have
couched media technologies to their service and therefore, are not adversarial towards each other.

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