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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The History of African Indigenous Churches in Scholarship
Author:Masondo, Sibusiso
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:African theology
African Independent Churches
Education and Oral Traditions
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This paper reflects on historical developments in the study of African Indigenous Churches (AICs) until the present and shows that there have been a number of different phases in the study of AICs. AICs were initially studied by missionaries who wanted to prove that AICs were not Christian but misled, pagan corruptions of the Christian faith. Missionaries and theologians did all they could to disown these churches of their Christian heritage. The second phase was dominated by anthropologists, who implemented ethnographic tools of investigation. The AICs were said to be syncretic: an illegitimate mixing of Christianity and African beliefs and customs. The third stage of development arrived when the AICs were recognized as authentically African. This type of identification was due to the fact that they drew heavily from traditional African practices and customs. The last stage is located within sociohistorical and anthropological studies in which AICs have come to be understood as being both African and Christian. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]