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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'If You Are a Devil, You Are a Witch and, if You Are A Witch, You Are a Devil': The Integration of 'Pagan' Ideas into the Conceptual Universe of Ewe Christians in Southeastern Ghana
Author:Meyer, BirgitISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Ghana
African religions
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1580958.pdf
Abstract:In order to show that the ideas of mission church members are not as Westernized as has often been assumed but rather represent an 'African' synthesis opposed to the Africanization propagated by theologians, this article focuses on the members of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EP Church). The sphere of influence of this church is the Volta Region in southeast Ghana, which is inhabited by the Ewe. 'Abosam' (the missionaries' translation of 'Devil') plays a central role in the thinking of most Ewe Christians. He is understood as the Lord of the former gods and spirits and thereby confirms the reality of their existence. He integrates non-Christian spiritual beings, above all 'adzetcwo' (witches), into the conceptual universe of EP Church members. 'Abosam' thus serves as a boundary-defining and integrating figure. Through him the existence of what the missionaries intended to abolish is confirmed. Most church members fear the attacks of 'adzetcwo'. This is the reason why so many people feel attracted by pentecostal groups or the Bible Study and Prayer Fellowship (BSPF). By taking the threat of 'Abosam' and 'adze' (witchcraft) seriously, their reality, which is denied by church officials, is confirmed over and over. Bibliogr., notes, ref.