Afro-Christianity at the Grassroots: Its Dynamics and Strategies

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G. Gerhardus Cornelis Oosthuizen, Michiel Casparus Kitshoff, S. W. D. Dube
BRILL, 1994 - Religion - 260 pages
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The spontaneous and rapid growth of indigenous African Christianity, especially in South Africa, has undermined the appropriateness of the term "mainline" for the traditional, denominational churches in the area. Some of these churches lost more than twenty-five percent of their membership in the period 1980-1990, while membership of the indigenous churches increased by a similar percentage in the same period. The contributions to this volume are based on grassroots research and each one treats some significant aspect within the life and work of this vast, self-motivating movement, a movement largely ignored for over a century by western-oriented Christianity. The work of these researchers clearly indicates how it is that African Indigenous Churches, with their holistic approach to religion - a feature of traditional African religion - serve as such a dynamic vehicle in effectively addressing the needs of their flocks. A further focus of the essays is on issues faced by these churches within their own church context.
 

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Contents

Between Mainlinism and Independentism
3
Factors Leading to the Formation of the Independent
16
New Independent Methodist Movements
23
Origins of the Spiritual Healing Church in Botswana
37
The Conflict between the Spiritual Healing
51
Religious Independency in the Central Region
67
Black Churches in the United States and
80
A Hermeneutic Paradigm
105
Isangoma or Prophet
165
The Search for a Holistic Approach
180
Towards the Emancipation of Women in a Post
195
Womens Ministry in Independent Churches
205
The Role of Women in the Leadership of
211
The South African New Age Movement and
231
Stories of Faith among the Zionists
246
Index
259

Causes for the Proliferation of the African
121
Social Change Resistance and Worldview of
137

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About the author (1994)

Gerhardus C. Oosthuizen, Ph.D. (1955) in Philosophy, University of South-Africa, is Director of NERMIC, a research unit for New Religious Movements and Independent/Indigenous Churches under the University of Zululand. He has published extensively on independent/indigenous churches. M.C. Kitshoff is Dean of the Faculty of Theology, University of Zululand. S.W.D. Dube is Director of the Institute for Education and Human Development, University of Zululand.

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