Afro-Christian Religion and Healing in Southern Africa

Author: Oosthuizen, G.C.
Seeks an understanding of one result of the syncretism of Southern African Christianity, namely, the increasing evidence among African Christians of ancestor veneration, belief in possession by alien spirits, dance-induced trancing, and witch beliefs.

". . . the significance of this volume lies . . . in the fact that South African anthropologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and theologians could talk with rather than at each other about pastoral theology and healing in the work of independent churches. . . . the volume will be used in graduate and research studies by students of anthropology, psychiatry, psychology, and religion." - Choice


"This book brings a major introductory contribution to complex and misunderstood practices of holistic healing among African traditional healers and members of the African and independent churches. . . . Researchers will appreciate a glossary of African terms (primarily Zulu), a 15-page bibliography, and indexes of names, subjects, African terms, and biblical references. . . . The diverse interdisciplinary approach is the strength of the book. It is well researched by both black and white south African participants. . . . It is a must reading for missiologists, medical professionals, missionaries, anthropologists, and sociologists interested in the holistic healing practices of Africa amidst contemporary and changing societies." - Missiology

"The nineteen scholarly essays in Afro-Christian Religion and Healing in Southern Africa are a major contribution from the sub-continent on this theme. . . . varied in research methods and analysis of findings, are a rich `mother lode' of data." - Journal of Religion in Africa

“For Africanists, the chief virtues of the volume are its varied descriptions of spirit possession and analyses of traditional worldviews that underlie healing practices. Overall, the papers are probably most helpful t medical practitioners and church scholars. The volume is a pioneer contribution from an African perspective to the growing medical and pastoral literature on holistic healing.” – International Journal of African Historical Studies