109 Spiritual healing A comparison between New Age groups and African Initiated Churches in South Africa Chrissie Steyn ABSTRACT This article explores and compares spiritual healing in two contemporary guises: the New Age movement and African Initiated Churches (AICs). A third component which cannot be ignored is the traditional African healing practices which (to a large extent) have shaped practices in the AICs. Firstly, the current growth in the prevalence of these groups is considered. Secondly, the two major components are compared with regard to illness and its causes, gifted healers, rituals, and transformation. And finally, the possible effects of these practices on the restoration of the country is considered. INTRODUCTION Healing is a term much used in South Africa today. Now that the democratisation of the country has taken place everyone seems to be acutely aware of the relationships that need healing, and it is in this sense that the word is used by politicians and religious leaders. When politicians use the term they refer to reconciliation on a level that obviates the animosity that racks the country and when religious leaders use it they refer, in addition, to a deeper level of spiritual development. ISSUES, THEORIES
Religion and Theology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1996
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