ERIC Number: ED254469
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Healing and Conversion in New Religious Movements in Africa: Elements of an Indigenous Epistemology.
In this analysis of healing and conversion as two of the most notable and persistent traits of the new religious movements in Africa, healing is described as an indigenous religious category within the context of conversion as a modern permutation of African religion. Religious conversion is most strikingly represented in societies where the traditional religious culture continues to play a significant role. Thus, wherever traditional religious culture is no longer an important influence, religious conversion as a modern phenomenon is correspondingly scarce. The coincidence of the rise of new religious movements within areas of Western influence is seen not only as a result of the impact of Western influence but also as a result of indigenous local factors. Historical examples of traditional leaders and healers such as Joseph Babalola, Ma Mbele, George Khambule, Ma Nku, and Simon Kimbangu are traced. In these examples, modern permutations of conversion take place within the revised setting of the older heritage. In addition, procedures such as the use of ashes and water and Zionist practices are described to illustrate the evolution of traditional African religion into modern Christian practices. The document concludes with a brief recapitulation of the significance of new religious movements for the reform and modernization of African societies. (LH)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bernard Van Leer Foundation, The Hague (Netherlands).
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education.
Identifiers: Africa; Healing; Religious Movements
Note: Paper from the Project on Human Potential. For other project papers, see SO 016 244-270.