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Title:The Spirit and the Scapular: Pentecostal and Catholic Interactions in Northern Nyanga District, Zimbabwe in the 1950s and Early 1960s
Author:Maxwell, David J.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Catholic Church
Baptist Church
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637622
Abstract:This paper examines the missionary encounter with the Hwesa people of the Katerere chiefdom of northeast Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), during the 1950s. During this decade there was such a rapid conversion to the new churches that they took on the appearance of a religious movement. Africans rapidly adhered to Elim Pentecostalism as it legitimated itself in local terms, resacralizing the landscape in Christian fashion, pitting itself against local demons, and making resonances with local concepts of illness. Likewise, the Catholic hierarchy literally followed a movement of popular Catholicism north, as Manyika migrants evicted from the south, following the implementation of the Land Apportionment Act, arrived with their medals, scapulars and village schools, demanding mission facilities. The consequent patterns of Christianization were not, however, just the result of local appropriation of the missionary package. They also emerged from the encounter between the missionary movements themselves. Catholicism was represented by nationalist Irish Carmelites, and Protestantism by Ulster Pentecostals. Thus the Irish Question was re-fought in the plains of Katerere, inevitably drawing Africans into the struggle and creating a mosaic of Christian factions. Notes, ref., sum.