International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 298

Full Length Research Paper

Recognising religious and superstitious rituals within higher education contexts: A case study of Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Neeske Alexander
  • Neeske Alexander
  • Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar
Elmarie Costandius
  • Elmarie Costandius
  • Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 19 September 2019
  •  Accepted: 28 January 2020
  •  Published: 29 February 2020

Abstract

In South Africa the task of decolonising the curriculum in higher education institutions falls upon researchers and lecturers. Within the case study of the Visual Communication Design curriculum at Stellenbosch University we noticed that students’ superstitious and religious beliefs and rituals surfaced in their responses to the coursework even though there was an attempt to steer away from traditional religious education. Students’ experiences included engagement with African religious rituals, the effects of omens, the use of rituals for academic success and the rejections of superstitious and religious beliefs. These experiences were interpreted from a post-colonial perspective. Critical citizenship education and appreciation of worldview diversity is suggested as tools for transformation toward decolonising the curriculum by recognising and legitimising different experiences and actions related to superstitious and religious beliefs in higher education classrooms.

 

Key words: Superstition, higher education, belief, South Africa, post-colonial.