Dr. Kudzai Biri

Associate Professor of Religion
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Dr. Kudzai Biri’s focus as a scholar of religion is its interplay with gender and migration in 21st century life. She is particularly interested in how those issues play out in Pentecostal/charismatic African diasporic communities.

Her Hope College courses include Christianity, Violence and Peace and Global Christianity.

Before joining Hope’s Department of Religion in 2023, Dr. Biri taught from 2004 through 2022 at the University of Zimbabwe. In 2021 she was appointed to a post-doctoral research position at Bamberg University in Germany, where her research focused on single women, African indigenous cultures and the Bible in Africa.

Dr. Biri publishes extensively. She also frequently participates in or leads workshops in multicultural and religious environments. In Zimbabwe, she worked with marginalized women, those living with HIV and AIDS, and with underprivileged children and orphans.

Areas of Expertise

  • Pentecostalism
  • African traditional religions
  • Religion and gender
  • Religion and migration


  • Ph.D., University of Zimbabwe, 2013
  • M.A., religion studies, University of Zimbabwe, 2003
  • B.A., religious studies, University of Zimbabwe, 2001

Honors, Grants and Awards

  • “Religion, Climate Change and Women in Southern Africa,” University of Bamberg grant, 2020
  • Alexander von Humboldt Special Research Fellowship, 2018
  • Faculty of Arts Prolific Researcher and Publisher award, University of Zimbabwe, 2016
  • Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa grant, World Council of Churches, 2015

Selected Recent Publications

  • “Rethinking the Marginalization of Women in Zimbabwe,” chapter in Electoral Politics in Zimbabwe, vol. 2 (ed. E. Mavengano and S. Chirongoma), Palgrave Macmillan, 2023
  • Women and Religion in Zimbabwe: Strides and Struggles (ed. with E. Chitando and S. Chirongoma), Lexington Books, 2022
  • “‘Back to Sender’: Revisiting the Belief in Witchcraft in Post-colonial Zimbabwean Pentecostalism” (with M. Manyonganise), Religions, 2022
  • “The Wounded Beast”? Single Women, Tradition, and the Bible in Zimbabwe, University of Bamberg Press, 2021
  • African Pentecostalism, the Bible, and Cultural Resilience: The Case of the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa, University of Bamberg Press, 2020
Profile photo of Dr. Kudzai Biri
Dr. Kudzai Biri

Phone Number616.395.7750

Lubbers Hall Room 108 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423
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