Researcher Profiles

Comprehensive Database of all UZ leading Research and Innovation endeavors

Prof. Kudzai Biri


Dphil. 2013 (University of Zimbabwe) MA 2003 Religious Studies (UZ) BA Religious studies 2001 (UZ) BA General 1999 (UZ)

Academic Appointments:

University Lecturing, Research and Community Service Designing Undergraduate and Post Graduate courses in African Traditional Religions, Religion and Ethics, Women, Gender and Politics, Phenomenology of Religion and Theological Teachings of the Church in Zimbabwe. Supervision of Undergraduate and Post Graduate Dissertations in African Traditional Religions,

Research Interests:

African Pentecostalism, the Bible and the Resilience of Indigenous Cultures

Faculty: Arts and Humanities
Department: Religious Studies
Research Category: Arts

Associate Professor, currently on Alexander von Humboldt special research fellowship in Germany. I am self-motivated, hardworking, resilient and and adaptive and a good team player, especially in planning, organizing and running workshop, conferences and fund raising projects.

Phone: +491526339592

1. Biri, K. (2020). “The Wounded Beast?”: Single Women, Tradition and the Bible in Zimbabwe, Bamberg, Bamberg University Press. (January 2021)

2. Biri, K. (2020). African Pentecostalism and the Resilience of the Indigenous Culture: The Case of ZAOGA, Bamberg, University of Bamberg Press.

3. Biri, K., Benchmann, U & Kuegler, J. (2019). Steh Auf und geh!: Die Heilung eines kranken Menschen (John 5), Auslegungen und Bibelarbeiten zum Weltgebestag, 2019.
(Get up and Go!: The healing of a sick person (John 5), World Prayer day of Women, 2019).

The Published Book Chapters

1. Biri, K. (2020). “It shall be well with Zimbabwe”: Pentecostalism, Pan-Africanism and Discourses of Nation- building and Restoration in Zimbabwe, in Politics and Religion in Zimbabwe: The Deification of Robert Mugabe, (eds), Togarasei, L & Chitando E., Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 113-125.

2. Biri, K, Gwara, J & Zimunya C.T. (2020). ‘Personhood and Disability in Zimbabwe: A critical philosophical analysis’ in Kuegler, (eds), Religion and Social Marginalization in Zimbabwe, Bamberg, University of Bamberg Press, 75-86.

3. Biri. K. (2020). “Need but Not Numbers”: Challenges Enshrined in the Pentecostal Discourses of Singlehood in Zimbabwe in Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit: African Pentecostalism, Genders, Sexualities and Spirituality, (eds) Kaunda, C. Macmillan, Palgrave, 213-228.

4. Biri, K. (2020). “Serve God Full Time and Overtime”: Pentecostalism in Zimbabwe and the Re- Configuration of the Gospel of Prosperity in Innovation and Competition in Zimbabwean Pentecostalism. (eds). Togarasei L & Chitando, E. Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Academic Publishers.

5. Biri, K (2020). Man of God or God of man?: Pentecostalism, Authority and Accountability in Zimbabwe in Religion and Social Marginalization, (eds), Kuegler, J., Bamberg, Bamberg University Press, 111-124.

6. Biri, K. (2020). “Munhu wese kuna amai” (Everyone to Our Mother): A Pentecostal perspective on the deployment of motherhood in Zimbabwean politics in Personality Cult and Politics in Zimbabwe, (ed), Chitando, E., Taylor and Francis, 148-159.

7. Biri K. (2020). “Handisi Mvana” (I am not a ‘single lady’ but I am a single lady): in Nations are built by mothers: Spirituality, gender and well-being in African Contexts-Essays in Honor of Professor Isabel Phiri, ed, Kaunda, C. Macmillan Palgrave.

8. Biri, K. Hatendi C & Gwara, J. (2019). Reflections on Sustainable Development Goals: Revisiting Indigenization in Zimbabwe, in Religion and Development in Southern and Central Africa, vol, 1. (eds), Amanze, J., Mzuzu, Mzuni Press, 10-24.

9. Biri, K. (2019). Biri, K. “Smell houses and Gold Diggers”: Pentecostalism and the Discourse of Single Women in Zimbabwe, in The Bible and Gender Troubles in Africa (eds). Kugler, J. , Bible In Africa Series, University of Bamberg, 203-216.

10. Biri. K. (2019). Citizenship, nationhood and development re-imagined during the crisis: An Analysis of Pentecostal discourse and practice in Zimbabwe in Religion and Development in Southern and Central Africa, vol 2, (eds), Amanze, J. Mzuzu, Mzuni Press, 179-194.

11. Biri, K (2019). ‘The bruised and troubled nation: Pentecostals, reconciliation and development in Zimbabwe in National healing Integration and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe, (ed), Chitando E. Routledge, Taylor and Francis.

12. Biri, K. (2018). Health and Wealth in Pentecostal Doctrine: The Case of Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA), Togarasei, L, (ed), Aspects of Pentecostal Christianity in Zimbabwe, Cham, Springer, 73-90.

13. Biri. K. (2018). The Resilience of Shona Traditional Liturgy among Pentecostals in Zimbabwe: A Critique, (ed), de Lange. R., The Arts and indigenous Knowledge Systems in a Modernized Africa, New Castle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 111-122.

14. Biri, K. (2017). “The Zimbabwe We Want”: Navigating the Socio-cultural, political discourses of Nation-building and Transformation in Zimbabwe in Inter-religious dialogue in Zimbabwe. Tehran, Alboda International Publishing Group.

15. Biri, K. (2017). “Champions have Scars”: Pentecostalism, the Crisis and the “Mothering of the nation” in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe, (ed), Hermen Kroesbergen, Neo-Pentecostalism in Southern Africa-Some critical reflections, Wellington. CLF, 74-87.

16. Biri, K, (2016). “Stubbornly earthbound”: Pentecostalism in Zimbabwe and the Resilience of Shona Traditional Religion in Africa’s Intangible Heritage and Land: Emerging Perspectives, (eds), Magosvongwe, R,, Harare, University of Zimbabwe Publications, 252-259.

17. Biri, K, (2016). “Neo Pentecostalism in Africa” in Anthology of African Christianity, (eds), Phiri, I., Oxford, Regnum Books International, 415-419.

18. Biri, K. (2016). Inclusion of the Blind in the Church: The Case of Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA) in Disability in Africa: Resource Book for Theology and Religious Studies, eds, Kabue, S, , Nairobi, Acton Publishers, 433-444.

19. Biri, K, (2016). Zimunya, C & Gwara, J., Personhood and Disability: A Philosophical Analysis in Disability in Africa: Resource Book for Theology and Religious Studies, (eds), Kabue, , Nairobi, Acton Publishers, 387-400.

20. Biri, K, (2016).The Rural Narratives of a Zimbabwean Based Religious Movement and the Shaping of Pentecostal Christianity in Renewal Christianity: Spirit Empowered Movements-Past Present and Future, vol 3, (eds), Synan, V, Yong, A, Asamoah-Gyadu, Laker Mary: Fla, Charisma House, 203-218.

21. Biri, K. (2016). Proverbs 31Woman: Pentecostalism and ‘Disempowering’ Femininities and “Oppressive Masculinities’ in Zimbabwe: A Critique, in The Bible and Violence in Africa, BIAS 20, (eds) Kuegler , J & Hunter, J, 223-237.

22. Biri, K & Pasura D, (2016). Pentecostalism and the Rise of the God father Phenomenon: Towards a Political Economy of Religious Migration in Migration, Transnationalism and Catholicism: Global Perspectives, (eds), Pasura, D, (Palgrave Macmillan).

23. Biri, K. (2015). Prophetic Imagination in Pentecostal Discourses of nation building in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe: A Critique, in Chimhanda, F,, (eds), African Theological Reflections: Critical Voices on Liberation, Leadership, Gender and Justice, Pretoria, UNISA, 37-49.

24. Biri, K. (2015). Zimbabwe Hauparari (Zimbabwe Shall not Perish): Pentecostal Discourses on Land, Nation-building and Transformation, in Dialoguing Land and Indigenisation in Zimbabwe and Other Developing Countie4s: Emerging Perspectives, Makwavarara, Z., (eds), Zambezia, University of Zimbabwe Publications.155-167.

25. Biri, K. (2015). Christianity and Tradition: An Ethical Evaluation of the Discourse on Feminism in the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God (ZAOGA) Church in Mangena, F,, Philosophy in African Traditions and Cultures, Council of Research in values and Philosophy, 25-40.

26. Biri, K. (2015), Prophetic Imagination in Pentecostal Music: A Critical Examination of the Deployment of Gospel Music During the Crisis, Chitando A, Chikowero, J. & Madongonda, A., (eds), The Art of Survival: Depictions of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean in Crisis, Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 171-188.

27. Biri, K. (2014). Sacred Sites in an African Indigenous Church in Zimbabwe: A Critique of ZAOGA F.I.F in Multiplying in the Spirit: African Initiated Churches in Zimbabwe, (eds), Chitando, E, Bamberg, University of Bamberg Press, 63-78.

28. Biri, K. & Manyonganise M. (2014). Same Sex Relationships in Zimbabwe: Challenges in the Study of the Phenomena in Christianity in a Globalised World, (ed), Kroesbergen, H., Wellington, CLF, 32-49.

29. Biri, K. (2014). African Socio-Religious Ethics and the Empowerment of Women in Zimbabwe: A Critique in Christianity in a Globalised World, (ed), Kroesbergen, H., Wellington, CFL, 73-88.

30. Biri, K. & Togarasei, L., (2014). Pentecostal Churches: Money making Machines or Purveyors of Socio-economic Growth?, Togarasei, L (ed), Spirit Filled: Pentecostal Spirituality in Zimbabwe, Netherlands, Brill, 48-59.

31. Biri, K. (2013). African Pentecostalism and Politics in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe: A Comparative Critique of the Leadership Styles of Ezekiel Guti and Robert Mugabe, Chitando, E, (ed), Prayers and Players: Religion and Politics in Zimbabwe, Harare, Sapes Trust, 111-123.

32. Biri, K. (2013). Theological Education in African Pentecostal Churches: Perspectives from Zimbabwe, Phiri, I & Werner, D., (eds), Handbook of Theological Education in Africa, Pietermaritzburg, Cluster Publications, 412-419.

33. Biri, K (2013). Gender-based Violence in the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA) Church, in Chitando, E., & Chirongoma, S., (eds), Justice But Not Silence: Churches facing Sexual and Gender-based Violence, EFSA, 146-157.

34. Biri, K. & Togarasei L., (2013) “…But one who Prophesies, Builds the Church”: Nation Building and Transformation Discourse as True Prophecy: The Case of Zimbabwean Pentecostal Women, Chitando, E, Gunda, R & Kugler, J., (eds), Prophets, Profits and the Bible in Zimbabwe, Bamberg, Bamberg University Press, 79-94.

35. Biri, K. (2011), Same Sex: Perspectives From Shona Traditional Religion: A Critique, Phiri, I.A., (ed), Same Sex Sexuality in Africa, Special issue, volume 17, no 2, Journal of Gender and Religion in Africa, Pietermaritzburg, 160-174.

Accepted Book Chapters (Forthcoming)

1. Biri, K. Untying the cords of patriarchy: A critique of violence against women and the role of Pentecostal women in leadership positions in Zimbabwe, in Women in Religion, (eds), Chivandikwa,, Cambridge Scholars (2020/2021).

2. Biri, K. ‘Redeeming the land…’ Pentecostalism, Neo-colonialism and Re-imagining Africa in Mother Earth, Post-colonial and Liberation Theologies, (eds), Chirongoma, S & Mombo, E., Lexicon Books (2020/21).

3. Biri K & Nyachega Nicholas, Policing boundaries of the body? Spirit-type African Apostolic churches, HIV/AIDS and Inequality in the Eastern Zimbabwe; 1985-2015.

4. Biri, K. “Handisi Mvana” (I am not a disgraced but honorable single lady): Pentecostalism, Tradition and Re-imagining Singlehood in Zimbabwe, (ed), Sithole, S. Alternation, Special Edition, .5, 2020.

5. Biri, K. The Church and Reproductive Rights of Disabled Women in Zimbabwe: A Critique, (ed), Machingura, F., (WCC -EHAIA Series). (18 pages).
1. Biri, K (2021). “Leave the devil alone: Confront lawlessness”, Covid 19 and Gender-based Violence in Zimbabwe, January. The Herald.

2. Biri, K (2020). ‘Women, Religion and Covid 19 in Zimbabwe: An African Womanist Perspective’, July, The Herald/ All Africa.

3. Biri, K (2017). ‘Women are their own worst enemies’. Harare, The Sunday Mail.

4. Biri, K & Chitando, E. (2016). Walter Magaya’s Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministries and Pentecostalism in Zimbabwe: A preliminary study with particular reference to Ecumenism, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, vol 42, no 2, 72-85.

5. Biri, K (2016), My Journey to the Islamic Republic of Iran: Explaining Myths and Biases, Harare. (University of Zimbabwe, /Qom. University of Religions and Denominations).

6. Biri, K. (2014). Migration, Trans-nationalism and the Shaping of Zimbabwean Pentecostal Spirituality in, Journal of African Diaspora, 7, 139-164.

7. Biri, K,. Chitando, E & Mashiri, P, (2014). Vanhu Vekwedu Vanotya Mwari (Our People are God Fearing): The Valorisation of Zimbabwe in Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave’s Wenyasha Ndewenyasha, (Journal of Pan African Studies), vol 7, no 3, September, 162-175.

8. Biri, K. (2014). “The perfect shoe…”: Zimbabwean Pentecostal Women’s fellowships and the Discourse of Submission: An Overview and Critique in the Light of HIV and AIDS, Journal of Gender and Religion in Africa. vol 20, no 1, 35-50.

9. Biri, K & Chitando, E. (2013). “Faithful Men of a Faithful God”: Masculinities in the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa, Exchange, 42, 34-50.

Patented Work:

Grants & Funding (current and Past projects):

Awards & Achievements:

Alexander von Humboldt Special Research Fellowship, German, (2018).
University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Arts Prolific Researcher and Publisher, Zimbabwe, (2016).
-University of Zimbabwe: PhD Scholarship-2009.

Consultancy and advisory work (current and past):

Supervision information (MPhil, DPhil, etc.):

1. Rev Anderson J. Mthambali, Title: Malawi Muslims and Christians: An Investigation into their co-existence, Chancellor College, University of Malawi.

2. Rejoice Murisi, Title of Thesis: An Anthropological Analysis, the Commercialization of Exorcism of Amorites Spirits in the United Family International Church in Zimbabwe, (University of Zimbabwe)

3. Winnie Bakili: A Sociological Analysis of the Experiences and Perceptions of Muslim Students at the University of Zimbabwe and Chinhoyi University of Technology, (University of Zimbabwe)

Masters- no of students supervised (2004-2018) -30

Honors in Religious Studies- no of students (2004-2017) - 81

Professional membership, Committees, Boards:

Association of Theological Colleges in Southern and Central Africa (ATISCA).
Circle of Concerned African Woman Theologians (Circle)- (2013-2019-National Chairperson Zimbabwe Chapter).
-Bible in Africa Series (BIAS). (2020 co-editor)
-Empowered 21 Movement (E21) (Global researchers on Pentecostalism).
Philosophy Council of Zimbabwe.
Association of the Study of Religions in Africa.

External Profile Links (Google Scholar, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, other social media links):


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