Repression, Resistance, and Revival of the Ancestor Cult in the Shona Churches of Zimbabwe. A Study in the Persistence of a Traditional Religious Belief

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Historical analysis of the evangelization of the Shona by both European missionaries and native evangelists examines the idea of a cross-cultural blending of Christianity and the Shona to create an Africanized Christianity. The author proposes a Christological approach where Jesus is seen as the ancestor par excellence in whom physical and spiritual needs are fulfilled.


"The Reverend Dr. Gift Makwasha offers deep insights into the traditional religious beliefs of the Shona people of Zimbabwe to the reader of this book....The book includes an important test case of a faith-healing group called “The Holiness of Zimbabwe” which tries to bring traditional Shona and western views together."
-Prof. John Gay, Columbia University

"The work by Gift Makwasha is a major contribution to the study of religion....The study is an excellent example of how Christianity can engage different cultures with integrity and respect that result in an enrichment of the faith."-Prof. Norman Faramelli, Boston University School of Theology

From the Foreword
"Makwasha’s work is fascinating for scholars of religion in postcolonial Africa...This book can be used in more advanced courses in African Christianity and theology. It will give students with a background in African religions a deeper understanding of Christianity in Zimbabwe and those parts of sub-Saharan Africa where scholars have raised similar questions about images of Christ in Africa today. I highly recommend this book to scholars and students of religion in contemporary Africa, as well as church leaders and those who are fascinated by the subject of inculturation."
-Prof. Isabel Mukonyora, Western Kentucky University

Table of Contents


Chapter 1
The Shona Ancestor Cult

Chapter 2
Mission Churches and the Shona Ancestor Cult: 1890 to 1923

Chapter 3
African Independent Churches and the Shona Ancestor Cult

Chapter 4
Kuyera KweDzimbabwe and the Shona Ancestor Cult

Chapter 5
Towards a “Tripartite Shona Ancestor Christology”

A Case Study of the Kurovaguva Ritual: The Ndoro family in Rural Wedza


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