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
Exchange – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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