The book provides a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich study of middle-class Christians in contemporary South Africa, as they seek to live good lives and build a good society. Drawing upon ethnographic research in conservative and progressive multiracial Protestant churches, furnished with critical analysis of South African literature and popular culture, this timely study explores expressions of ambition and anxiety that are both spiritual and material. Building upon debates over middle-class identity and morality from sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies, this book analyses congregational attempts at social unity, discussions on white privilege and shame, and the impact of middle-class black activism in South African churches and society. This book will be of interest to researchers of South African culture and society, as well as scholars of contemporary religion, anthropology, and sociology.
Dr Ibrahim Abraham is the Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and the Social Sciences in the HRC.