Witchcraft and Spirit Beliefs in African Christian Theology

Witchcraft and Spirit Beliefs in African Christian Theology WITCHCRAFT AND SPIRIT BELIEFS IN AFRICAN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Gerrit Brand The impact of the context on the content of theology can be clearly discerned in the reflections of African Christian theologians on the problem of evil. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the prominence of the theme of witchcraft and the spirit world in their writings. Most African theologians seem to agree with John Pobee, a Ghanaian Anglican theologian, that Christian theology cannot avoid coming to terms with this aspect of the African experience, since it remains 'a serious concern for large sections of [African] societies.'' 1 However, there is considerable disagreement about how Christian theology should deal with this issue. Should Christian theologians take witchcraft and spirit beliefs seriously, or should they offer an alternative set of categories in its place? How should the moral underpinnings of these traditional beliefs be evaluated from a Christian perspective? What is the relation between 'witchcraft and spirit attack' on the one hand, and the 'demonic' on the other? The purpose of this article is to gain insight into the kinds of argument or the criteria that African Christian theologians invoke in their evaluation, critique and defence of various answers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Exchange Brill

Witchcraft and Spirit Beliefs in African Christian Theology

Exchange, Volume 31 (1): 36 – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2002 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0166-2740
eISSN
1572-543X
D.O.I.
10.1163/157254302X00326
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

WITCHCRAFT AND SPIRIT BELIEFS IN AFRICAN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Gerrit Brand The impact of the context on the content of theology can be clearly discerned in the reflections of African Christian theologians on the problem of evil. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the prominence of the theme of witchcraft and the spirit world in their writings. Most African theologians seem to agree with John Pobee, a Ghanaian Anglican theologian, that Christian theology cannot avoid coming to terms with this aspect of the African experience, since it remains 'a serious concern for large sections of [African] societies.'' 1 However, there is considerable disagreement about how Christian theology should deal with this issue. Should Christian theologians take witchcraft and spirit beliefs seriously, or should they offer an alternative set of categories in its place? How should the moral underpinnings of these traditional beliefs be evaluated from a Christian perspective? What is the relation between 'witchcraft and spirit attack' on the one hand, and the 'demonic' on the other? The purpose of this article is to gain insight into the kinds of argument or the criteria that African Christian theologians invoke in their evaluation, critique and defence of various answers

Journal

ExchangeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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