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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Witches, Prophets and Avenging Spirits: The Second Christian Movement in North-East Zimbabwe
Author:Maxwell, David J.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:Baptist Church
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1581363.pdf
Abstract:This paper analyses the proliferation of pentecostal churches in north-east Zimbabwe. It takes as a case study the Hwesa, a group of Shona-speaking peoples of the Katerere dynasty, northern Nyanga District, where the author conducted interviews between 1987 and 1993. One remarkable religious feature of the war of liberation in which the north-east was caught up from 1976 was the resacralization of the ancestors. This rehabilitation of Katerere's 'mhondoro' spirit cults forms the backdrop to the area's second Christian movement characterized by the proliferation of new pentecostal churches. This paper considers the following churches: ZAOGA (Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa) Mugodhi, Torpiya, Zviratidzo, Rudjeko, Borngaes and Samanga. It explains the rise of these churches in terms of continuity. They are a perpetuation of gender, generational and ethnic struggles which have raged in Katerere throughout this century. Much of pentecostalism's appeal can be attributed to the manner in which it redefines the meaning of spirit possession and to the fact that upon the liberation war's cessation angry spirits of the dead had to be exorcised. The proliferation of pentecostal churches can also be explained in terms of more contemporary social processes, in particular the rise in witchcraft accusations since 1980, due to social differentiation. Bibliogr., notes, ref.