Speaker meaning attributed to the terms salvation and insindiso in selected mainline and independent church contexts
CITATION: Kerr, N. & Southwood, F. 2009. Speaker meaning attributed to the terms salvation and insindiso in selected mainline and independent church contexts. Scriptura, 102:520-537, doi:10.7833/102-0-612.
The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
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.