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Doctoral Degrees (Biblical & Historical Studies, Theological Studies & Ethics)

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    A critique of ministers’ welfare policy in the uniting Presbyterian church in Southern Africa.
    (2022) Zinduru, Knowledge.; Siwila, Lilian Cheelo.; Moyo, Herbert.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Christians’ attitudes towards traditional medicine.
    Mnguni, Blessing Thobani.; Sakuba, Xolani.
    This study involves a close examination of the real factors behind the persistent negative attitude toward the use of traditional medicine by the majority of Charismatic/Pentecostal churches in Africa; with a view to determine the extent to which one can confidently state that it is based on sound theological grounds. This study comprises how I observed/noted (not argued) that despite this, those whose attitudes should have by now been transformed by the prevalence and dominance of the discourse that permeates this work are strangely the ones who continue to harbour negative sentiments towards traditional remedies. Unlike other studies, which are based on an ideo-philosophical argument, this study rather constitutes observation, which, by itself, has turned out to be a critique of an existing ideo-philosophical argument. Theologians have done a sterling job in terms of highlighting the significance of retrieving and rejuvenating African culture; however, none of these theologians has tackled the subject of the Christian’s attitude towards indigenous medicine as a standalone project, even where this appreciation for traditional medicine is observed. Still, it does not receive unique appreciation as an issue that needs to be attended to. It is mired in the controversy of the unclearness between inyanga and isangoma. Senghor and his Negritude concept, Nkrumah with Pan-Africanism, Nyerere with the Ujamaa philosophy, and Kenyatta with the African economic cooperation ideology are the leading proponents of the revitalisation of African culture after colonialism, and they discuss all these concepts, except the Christian’s attitude toward indigenous medicine, and it is this gap that I intend to close. I am therefore not reinventing the wheel. It is also worth mentioning that most of the existing literature points to colonialism and missionary projects and the reflection of the damage that was birthed by the two, even in the post-colonial discourse. It is, however, my observation that there is another phenomenon that is missing, which is the human reaction to normality. Based on the main objective of this study, which is to contribute to a better and more informed understanding of this attitude with a view to develop a sound theological response to this enduring phenomenon, this study followed grounded theory as a methodological approach. Another truth behind the evasiveness and attitude of Charismatic/Pentecostal churches and communities towards traditional medicine is that scientists only discovered medicine from the trees, herbs, and flowers already produced by God. Many of the medicines in pharmacies originate from God’s creation. This submission in no way denounces the excellent work undertaken by scientists around the subject of medicine, but affirms that they only discovered what was already existing and that even the ability to discover is granted by God. Also, the inclusion of African traditional medical systems in the cosmopolitan mainstream would play a pivotal role in decreasing the burden of health institutions and offer an alternative way of healing. Finally, we need to educate and remind one another of forgotten normality and that forgetfulness is a result of the evolution of means of accessing intended good and that evolution is as a result of an ongoing human disposition to discover new reality.
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    Mission and colonialism: a critical examination of Hermann Dieterlen’s ministry (1874-1919)
    (2021-12-04) Tšeuoa, Ntabanyane Samson Khama.; Denis, Philippe.
    No abstract available
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    Between remembering and forgetting: a theological and contextual investigation of nation-building in Deuteronomy and how it intersects with nation-building in Zimbabwe.
    Moyo, Andrew.; West, Gerald O.; Decock, Paul B.
    This work seeks to highlight a biblically inspired notion of nation-building which advocates the unity of all the people as an imagined political community, with a sovereign role in the land. The definition of nation-building will be based on Benedict Anderson’s terms ‘imagined political community’ and the ‘sovereign role of the people’ in order to emphasize the notion of nation-as-people which is most appropriate for this work. The emphasis of this work is influenced both by the ideo-theological perspective to read the Bible from the perspective of the poor and from a liberationist perspective which privileges the ‘dangerous memories’ of the subjugated communities in order to work for a future that is better. Within this framework it is possible to bring the use of memory in the ancient community of Israel into dialogue with the modern post colonial state of Zimbabwe. The research will use literary narrative and rhetorical analysis to compare the use of a liberation memory to construct the imagined political community in the book of Deuteronomy and in post-colonial Zimbabwe. The biblical model of nation-building, as motivated by the pacifying memory of divine deliverance and the dangerous memory of the oppression of the people, advocates the ethical liberation categories of freedom, justice and equality to build the unity and sovereign role of the imagined communities. A tripolar analysis will bring the text of Deuteronomy into dialogue with the context of postcolonial Zimbabwe, to highlight the differences in the use of the pacifying and dangerous memories of liberation. The focus will be on the realization of unity and freedom for the people through the ethical use of the memory of liberation. This work concludes that the dangerous memories of the people are fundamental to the construction of a nation-as-people and that the ethical use of the pacifying and dangerous memory of liberation can be a unifying factor for postcolonial countries and a fundamental resource for the construction of a nation-as-people.
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    Between remembering and forgetting: a theological and contextual investigation of nation-building in Deuteronomy and how it intersects with nation-building in Zimbabwe.Phakathi kokukhumbula nokukhohlwa: uphenyo lwemfundiso yenkolo nokwesimo sendawo yokwakhiwa kwesizwe kuDutheronomi nokuthi luhlangana kanjani nokwakhiwa kwesizwe eZimbabwe.
    (2021) Moyo, Andrew.; Decock, Paul Bernard.; West, Gerald Oakley.
    This work seeks to highlight a biblically inspired notion of nation-building which advocates the unity of all the people as an imagined political community, with a sovereign role in the land. The definition of nation-building will be based on Benedict Anderson’s terms ‘imagined political community’ and the ‘sovereign role of the people’ in order to emphasize the notion of nation-as-people which is most appropriate for this work. The emphasis of this work is influenced both by the ideo-theological perspective to read the Bible from the perspective of the poor and from a liberationist perspective which privileges the ‘dangerous memories’ of the subjugated communities in order to work for a future that is better. Within this framework it is possible to bring the use of memory in the ancient community of Israel into dialogue with the modern post colonial state of Zimbabwe. The research will use literary narrative and rhetorical analysis to compare the use of a liberation memory to construct the imagined political community in the book of Deuteronomy and in post-colonial Zimbabwe. The biblical model of nation-building, as motivated by the pacifying memory of divine deliverance and the dangerous memory of the oppression of the people, advocates the ethical liberation categories of freedom, justice and equality to build the unity and sovereign role of the imagined communities. A tripolar analysis will bring the text of Deuteronomy into dialogue with the context of postcolonial Zimbabwe, to highlight the differences in the use of the pacifying and dangerous memories of liberation. The focus will be on the realization of unity and freedom for the people through the ethical use of the memory of liberation. This work concludes that the dangerous memories of the people are fundamental to the construction of a nation-as-people and that the ethical use of the pacifying and dangerous memory of liberation can be a unifying factor for postcolonial countries and a fundamental resource for the construction of a nation-as-people.IQOQA Lo msebenzi uhlose ukuqhakambisa umbono wokwakha isizwe kulandelwa indlela yebhayibheli, ngenhloso yokwakha ubumbano kubona bonke abantu kwezepolitiki, babe namandla okuzimela ezweni abalakhele. Incazelo yokwakhiwa komphakathi izobe igxile kulawa matemu kaBenedict Anderson ‘omphakathi wezepolitiki esiwufisayo’ kanye ‘namandla abantu okuzimela’ ukuze kuqhakanjiswe umbono wesizwe esihambelana ncamashi nezinhloso zalo msebenzi. Lo msebenzi ugcizelela ubumqoka bombono oncike enkolweni wokufunda ibhayibheli ngendlela ebalula imizwa nosizi lwabampofu futhi ehlose ukubakhulula nokuthi bangakulibali ukuhlupheka kwabo ukuze balwele ikusasa elingcono. Ngokulandela le ndlela yokucabanga, kuba lula ukujeqeza emuva emlandweni wabantwana bakwa-Israyeli uma kudingidwa lolu daba, kuqhathaniswe nesimo esikhona eZimbabwe manje emva kohulumeni wengcindezelo. Lolu cwaningo luzosebenzisa indlela yokucubungula imibhalo kanye nokucubungula okubheka zonke izinhlaka zemicabango ukuze kuqhathaniswe ukusebenza kokujeqeza emuva elwazini olukhona ukwakha umphakathi wezepolitiki esiwufisayo ngokwencwadi kaDutheronomi kubhekwa isimo esikhona eZimbabwe manje emva kohulumeni wengcindezelo. Ukwakhiwa kwesizwe okulandela imigomo yebhayibheli, njengoba kuqhakambisa umehluko phakathi kokwakha uxolo nolwazi oluyingozi ngokucindezelwa kwamalungelo abantu, kuphakamisa indlela elungile yokulwa nengcindezi ukuletha inkululeko, ubulungiswa nokulingana ukwakha ubumbano kanye namandla okuzimela komphakathi wezepolitiki esiwufisayo. Indlela yokucubungula enxantathu izokwazi ukuhlaziya incwadi kaDutheronomi kubhekwa isimo esikhona eZimbabwe manje emva kohulumeni wengcindezelo, ukugcizelela umehluko ekusetshenzisweni kwemizamo yokwakha uxolo kanye nolwazi oluyingozi ngomzabalazo wenkululeko. Inhloso ukwakha ubumbano nokuzuza inkululeko yabantu ngendlela elungile yokujeqeza emuva olwazini lomzabalazo wenkululeko. Lo msebenzi uphetha ngokuthi ulwazi lwangaphambilini ngomzabalazo wenkululeko lubaluleke kakhulu ekwakhiweni kwesizwe nabantu futhi nokuthi ukusetshenziswa ngendlela efanele kwemizamo yokwakha uxolo nolwazi lomzabalazo wenkululeko kungaba ngenye yezindlela zokuletha uxolo emazweni asephumile phansi kwengcindezelo, kanti futhi kungaba yindlela enhle yokwakha isizwe nabantu.
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    For God or Caesar: an historical study of Christian resistance to apartheid by the Church of the Province of South Africa, 1946-1957.
    (1983) Clarke, Robert George.; Prozesky, Martin Herman.
    Preface available in PDF.
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    Translation as invasion in post-colonial northern Ghana.
    (2020) Esala, Nathan Adam.; West, Gerald Oakley.
    This thesis explores agency in African translation practices across time and space. The foregrounded space of this study is the northern Ghanaian context, especially the area south of the Gambaga escarpment. In that space, the study uses Achille Mbembe’s notion of “entanglement” as applied to time. Accordingly, the study traces translation practices in the northern Ghanaian context across entangled eras of time: indigenous time, indigenous/pre colonial time, colonial/neo-indigenous time, post-colonial/neo-colonial time. The study describes a diversity of translation practices in each era, using an intentionally selected set of analytical tools to help the reader understand how and why the author is highlighting particular practices. The study explores how colonial translation and religious translation have been entangled, often in a mirroring relationship. I describe the dominant paradigm of entangled missionary colonial translation, translation as invasion. Some contemporary forms of African Christianity have become entangled in this dominant mode of translating: evangelical neo-colonial modes of translating, the developmentalist mode of translating, and the neo-liberal and neo-indigenous prosperity method of re-translating. Other Africans have recovered indigenous religious resources for Christian re-translation that resists missionary-colonial and neo-colonial neo-indigenous practices in various ways. Some re-translate to build community resilience. Some prophetically rework the method and purpose of translating. And still ‘others’ re-translate to resist the oppressive and extractionary intentions of the translation-as invasion paradigm. The study attempts to rework the translation-as-invasion paradigm. It describes a collaborative post-colonial mode of re-translating biblical texts for liberation in which translators become facilitators of translation for ‘other’ sectors of society. Facilitators offer the Contextual Bible Study method as a prompt to re-translate and re-interpret biblical texts from the perspectives of the study participants. Groups of ‘ordinary’ and ‘marginalized’ Africans participate with (biblical) ancestors as they re-translate texts in their projects of social healing. The first case study involves groups of people living with bodily dis(abilities) who re translate Job in ways that respond to the health and wealth gospel in their communities. The second case study explores women re-translating the story of Ruth for survival in a context where neo-liberal Christianity has allied itself with patriarchal custom and neo-patrimonial economics. The final case study suggests that women and men re-translate ethnicity and patriarchy in the biblical text of Judges 6—9 as they resist forces that are causing inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic violence in their communities, violence that harms women’s bodies, ravages the environment, and harms the community’s moral base. The colonial translation-as-invasion paradigm offers little room for neutrality. The conclusion of the study suggests that post-colonial emancipatory re-translation offers resources for conventional African Bible translation to rework the inner logics of invasion by ‘re membering’ why communities engage in re-translating, which perspectives are privileged in re-translating, how re-translating is carried out, and in what order re-translating should occur.
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    Ubuntombi – a Zulu religio-cultural heritage and identity: a path to adulthood and sex education practices.
    (2018) Ntuli, Goodness Thandi.; Siwila, Lilian Cheelo.
    In view of diminishing indigenous knowledge of most cultural practices this study sought to investigate the ways in which ubuntombi as an indigenous practice can be emancipated and retrieved as a Zulu religio-cultural heritage and identity and a path to adulthood and sex education practices. This qualitative empirical research study used interviews and focus group discussions to collect data. In addition, participant-observation was also used as the researcher observed and recorded cultural activities of izintombi (Zulu girls). The study worked with postcolonial theory, and African feminist cultural hermeneutics framework. This was to assess how ubuntombi has evolved and how colonialism and the patriarchal cultural context of the Zulu ethnic group contributed to the way in which the practice of ubuntombi was understood. Thus, the study required a critical lens of the oppressive and life denying issues to women. The study also encompassed indigenous knowledge systems as a perspective because ubuntombi is an indigenous cultural practice that like many others was despised and demonised by the colonial and western mindset. Some of the significant findings of this study were that ubuntombi was one of the critical stages of development in the cycle of human development among the Zulus. While a girl child was welcomed as intombi from birth into the Zulu family, she only became fully recognised as intombi (young virgin) during puberty as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. Therefore, this was a critical time for sex education, which was regarded as an essential part of her maturing process to adulthood. There were particular social structures (such as amaqhikiza and grandmothers) that provided sex education to the maturing young women and were dismantled by the invading colonists. Constructive aspects of ubuntombi as a traditional cultural practice (such as sex education) were eroded during the colonial invasion. This study found that it is no longer practical for young women to go back to the traditional practice of ubuntombi as a cultural practice even though there are those who currently live as izintombi in a hostile environment and require social support. This study concluded that there are positive aspects of ubuntombi that can be retrieved that were summed up in the RCLC model which proposed ubuntombi as an indigenous sex educational tool. If effectively used, this tool can provide sex education to the current group of izintombi and others. This might restore indigenous sex education that has been lost during colonialism and never replaced to date.
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    A phenomenological study on the causes of leadership succession disputes in the Zion Apostolic Faith Mission (ZAFM) in Zimbabwe.
    (2017) Makamure, Clemence.; Masondo, Sibusiso Theophilus.
    Succession is the greatest challenge facing most organizations in Africa in all circles of life. Most religious, social and political organizations and institutions seem to face many problems after the death of the founding figure. It seems Africa today has failed to have a smooth transfer of power from the current leader to the successor. Owing to the failures of leaders to appoint their successors particularly in the religious spheres, most church organizations often engage in bloody fights after the death of the principal leader. This makes succession disputes to be one of the greatest crises facing African Independent churches in Zimbabwe. Drawing from the situation in the Zion Apostolic Faith Mission (ZAFM) church of Andreas Shoko, this study looked at the reasons behind succession disputes. There have been limited attempts by African scholars to look at succession disputes in the ZAFM church from a conflict perspective. This study comes in to fill this gap in existing scholarly fraternity by proposing a new succession model. The study is anchored on a qualitative research design and it employed the existential phenomenological research method. The study made use of in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, narratives and document analysis as data collection tools. Responses from leaders, lay people and traditional leaders in the ZAFM church provided ethnographical data from which analysis emerged. The study established that political, social, religious and economic factors trigger succession disputes in the ZAFM church. Drawing from the various causes of succession disputes, the study proposed the Mentorship Succession Model (MSM). The MSM states that a successor has to be chosen from the church without specifically focusing only on the family of the bishop. This was an influence from African Tradition on the status of Chiefs and how they get succeeded. The bishop together with his Council of High Priests should be responsible in choosing the mentee and then present him to the whole church for approval. Once approved by the whole church then mentorship process can begin. The study argued that the ZAFM church in particular and AICs in general may minimize the occurrences of leadership contestations by adopting the MSM. This model calls for the mentoring of a successor by the incumbent bishop. The model requires the incumbent leader in conjunction with key office bearers in the church to identify the potential successor and then seek the approval of the whole congregation before the start of the mentoring process. This would minimize leadership contestations because of a number of reasons. The first reason is that the successor gets training from the incumbent before assuming power. The second reason is that the successor candidate is chosen basing on the v values agreed upon by the whole church. The third reason is that the successor candidate is chosen from a wide spectrum of potential office bearers without specifically focusing on the family of the incumbent bishop. The fourth reason is that the mentee gets time to be used to the church and adjust to the expectations of the church before finally assuming power. The study concluded that there are many causes of succession disputes in the ZAFM church that can be grouped into political, religious, social and economic factors. Chief among the political factors we have the urge to lead, the succession models used in the church, disagreement between kingmakers and nepotism. Religious factors on the causes of succession disputes included the sins of the bishop and his failure to demonstrate love, introduction of polygamy, failure to understand the backbone of Zionism, different interpretations of the bible failure to take discipline to mention just a few. Social factors are constituted by such issues as lack of a sense of identity and belonging, lack of a succession plan, lack of retirement age and package and lack of adjudication procedure for dispute resolution. The economic factors included greed, scramble for the deceased’s wealth and possessions and embezzlement of church funds.
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    Sacrifice in Hebrews 9:1-10:18 and Ganda sacrifice: a study in relation to the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist.
    (2006) Kalengyo, Edison Muhindo.; Draper, Jonathan Alfred.
    Not available for copying
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    Towards a functional deaconate unity: a critique of the development approach of Kongo central protestant church in poverty alleviation.
    (2019) Makitu, Nuni Ndundu.; Le Bruyns, Clint Charles.
    This research concerns the approach of the social commitment of the Church of Christ in the Democratic Republic of Congo (ECC) regarding the struggle against poverty and external dependency in development matter. The Protestant Church of Kongo Central province served as a sample. Given the unstable political life and economic crisis in which the DR-Congo is plunged, the Church is consequently living in poverty that makes the faithful unable to support its development projects. The Church became more financially dependent on the outside, a situation deemed humiliating (Mahema 2014:19-20). The present study focused on this state of dependence and strategies of fighting poverty. The study used a sample of 18 participants using random sampling technique. Observations from the study indicated that the social action of the Protestant denominations has less impact than that of missionaries; the main cause being that the present denominations engage in poverty alleviation separately. The research hypothesis lies on a collaborative development approach, a unitary strategy especially in strengthening the functional deaconate unity. A dialectical method was applied in using qualitative paradigm coupled with historic-critical analysis. Since the beginning of the 19th century, Europe embarked on an expansionist adventure towards other continents. This expansionism reflected in religious, political and commercial aspects, quickly reached Africa, America and Asia. From the religious viewpoint, this expansion was characterized by the implantation of Christianity in a specific context of mission, while domination and colonisation as well as exploitation marked both the political and commercial views. What has been more interesting in this Christianisation, is the unitary approach initiated by the Protestant missionaries for evangelism and modernisation projects, radiant and useful to the population that the isolated projects could not achieve. However, this momentum of unitary development did not reach its peak because of the lack of preparation of Church elite and cadres who would ensure the recovery after the departure of missionaries. That impetus was broken in this postcolonial period. People still languish in poverty for more than five decades in the DR-Congo. Christians especially remain unable to take charge of their own Church. Since the Church does not have African development theology, it also lacks a development approach to fight and overcome poverty and the dependence it brings. Research findings illuminate the vi multidimensional character of poverty and the different metaphors it has produced, the many facets of the fight against poverty at all levels, new understanding of the Church today and the role it is called to play, the level of WCC interventions in the world and finally the new international order that leads the world with interest-based theories. However, the essential premise of this study is that whatever theories and praxis, poverty alleviation lies on the motivation and self-determination of the community itself. With regard to the functional deaconate unity envisaged approach to fight poverty, the study deals in its introductory part with the lack of definition of the Church mission and a specific development theology, underscoring the scientific direction of the study under consideration (Chap 1); the concern of the Protestant elite about the autonomy of the Church in the preliminary literature and the explanation of the key concepts related to the subject reinforce the purpose of the study in relation to the vacuum found (Chap 2); the verification of the research hypothesis from the primary sources data collected in the DRC as well as from the documentary data classified according to the qualitative paradigm corroborates the evidence of poverty in the Church and the reference to an unity approach in tackling poverty (Chap 3). However, prima facie, the unpreparedness of the future elite, geopolitics issues, external interference, wars and rebellions, social injustice, and mismanagement of public affairs appear from the diagnose of the origin of poverty in the context of the DRC and the consequences of its effects in the life of the Church (Chap 4). The missionaries’ development achievements to illiterate people would be a model for the Protestant Church. Yet their strategy of unity and fellowship has also been noticed, but it remained forgotten and unknown to the present denominations; a reminder and sensitization were essential (Chap 5). Updating the Church development approach to current demands is felt by the ones who base their hope on the Church, the various governments of the country not caring about their fate (Chap 6). The study propounds a functional deaconate unity that meets the expectations of the local Church (Chap 7). Finally, the overview of the topic under consideration with some recommendations concludes the study with hope that other researchers will pursue the project (Chap 8). Key concepts: Church, Protestant Church, Dependence, Development, Post-colonialism, Unity, Deaconate, Functional deaconal unity, Kongo Central, Poverty, Poverty alleviation. RESUME Cette recherche concerne l'approche de l’engagement social de l'Eglise du Christ en République Démocratique du Congo (ECC) en matière de lutte contre la pauvreté et la dépendance extérieure speciallement en matière de développement. L’Église protestante de la province du Kongo Central a servi d’échantillon. Face à la vie politique instable et à la crise économique dans laquelle se trouve la RDC, l'Église vit par conséquent dans une pauvreté qui empêche les fidèles de soutenir ses projets de développement. L'Église est devenue plus dépendante financièrement de l'extérieur, une situation jugée humiliante (Mahema 2014:19-20). La présente étude porte sur cet état de dépendance et sur les stratégies de lutte contre la pauvreté. L'étude s’est referée à un échantillon de dix-huit participants (es) utilisant une technique d'échantillonnage aléatoire. Les observations de l'étude ont montré que l'action sociale des dénominations protestantes a moins d'impact que celle des missionnaires; la cause principale serait que les confessions religieuses actuelles s’engagent séparément dans la lutte contre la pauvreté. L'hypothèse de recherche repose sur une approche de développement en collaboration, une stratégie unitaire renforçant l'unité diaconale fonctionnelle. La méthode dialectique a été appliquée en utilisant un paradigme qualitatif associé à une analyse historico-critique. En effet, depuis le début du 19ème siècle, l'Europe s'est lancée dans une aventure d'expansion vers d'autres continents. Cet expansionnisme se reflétant dans les aspects religieux, politiques et commerciaux, a rapidement atteint l'Afrique, l'Amérique et l'Asie. Du point de vue religieux, cette expansion était caractérisée par l’implantation du christianisme dans un contexte spécifique de la mission, tandis que la domination et la colonisation ainsi que l’exploitation marquaient à la fois les points de vue politique et commercial. Ce qui a été plus intéressant dans cette christianisation, c'est l'approche unitaire initiée par les missionnaires protestants pour l'évangélisation ainsi que les projets de modernisation, non seulement radieux mais surtout utiles pour la population; ce que les projets réalisés isolement ne pouvaient atteindre. Cependant, cet élan de développement unitaire n'a pas atteint son apogée en raison du manque de préparation de la part de l'élite et des cadres de l'Église qui assureraient la continuité après le départ des missionnaires. Cet élan a été brisé en cette période postcoloniale. La population congolaise languit encore dans la pauvreté depuis plus de cinq décennies. Les chrétiens, en particulier, restent incapables de prendre en charge leur propre Eglise. Puisque l'Église n'a pas de théologie africaine du développement, il lui manque également une approche de développement lui permettant de combattre la pauvreté et la dépendance qui en découle. Les résultats de la recherche mettent en lumière le caractère multidimensionnel de la pauvreté et ses différentes métaphores, les nombreuses facettes de la lutte contre la pauvreté à tous les niveaux, la nouvelle compréhension de l'Église aujourd'hui et de son vrai rôle, le niveau des interventions du Conseil Oecumeunique des Eglises dans le monde et enfin le nouvel ordre international qui conduit le monde avec des théories basées sur les intérêts. Cependant, la prémisse essentielle de cette étude est que, quelles que soient les théories et les pratiques, l’alleviation de la pauvreté repose sur la motivation et l’autodétermination de la communauté elle-même. En ce qui concerne l'unité diaconale envisagée pour lutter contre la pauvreté, l'étude a abordé dans sa partie introductive la motivation de la recherche, en particulier le manque de définition de la mission de l'Église et d’une théologie spécifique du développement (chapitre 1); l'inquiétude de l'élite protestante vis-à-vis de l'autonomie de l'Église et l'explication des concepts clés liés au sujet, renforcent l'objectif de l'étude en relation avec le vide constaté (chap 2); la vérification de l'hypothèse de recherche à partir des sources primaires collectées en RDC ainsi que des données documentaires classées selon le paradigme qualitatif corrobore l'évidence de la pauvreté dans l'Église et la référence à une approche unitaire de la lutte contre la pauvreté (chap 3). Cependant, à première vue, l’impréparation de la future élite congolaise, les problèmes de géopolitique, les interferences politiques extérieures, les guerres et les rébellions, les injustices sociales et la mauvaise gestion des affaires publiques ressortent du diagnostic de l’origine de la pauvreté dans le contexte de la RDC et des conséquences de ses effets dans la vie de l'Eglise (chap 4). Les réalisations des missionnaires en matière de développement auprès de ces populations illettrées avec une technologie traditionnelle seraient un modèle pour l’Église protestante. Pourtant, leur stratégie d’unité et de fraternité a également été remarquée; cependant elle est restée oubliée et inconnue des dénominations actuelles; un rappel et une sensibilisation étaient donc essentiels (chap 5). La mise à jour de l'approche de développement de l'Église aux demandes actuelles est ressentie par ceux qui fondent leur espoir sur l'Église, les différents gouvernements du pays ne se souciant pas de leur sort (chap 6). L’étude propose une unité diaconale fonctionnelle qui réponde aux attentes de l’Église locale (Chap 7). Enfin, la vue d'ensemble du sujet sous examen avec quelques recommandations conclut l'étude avec l'espoir que d'autres chercheurs poursuivront le projet (chap 8).
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    Indigenous knowledge systems of the Ndau people of Manicaland Province in Zimbabwe: a case study of Bota Reshupa.
    (2018) Muyambo, Tenson.; Siwila, Lilian Cheelo.; Masondo, Sibusiso Theophilus.
    Framed from postcolonial and cultural hermeneutics perspectives, this study employs the phenomenological method in conjunction with historical and sociological approaches to investigate the efficacy of IKS of the Ndau of Manicaland province in Zimbabwe. The study is premised on the argument that western knowledge has been accepted as normative despite the existence of other epistemologies worldwide. Using bota reshupa [Ndau herbal porridge] as a case study, the thesis argues that the production of knowledge is not an act of monopolizing a part of humanity but rather, that ownership thereof is the prerogative of every person and every community. Communities generate knowledge that is context-specific but at the same time knowledge can be beneficial to all of humanity. The thesis argued that while it is important to acknowledge power relations in the production of knowledge, it is equally significant to accept that we are living in a poly-epistemic world composed of various knowledges that complement each other. The research findings showed that IKS are used for a variety of reasons. Bota reshupa serves as the primary health care of the Ndau, including defining their identity, rites of passage and expression of their sense of cultural beauty (aesthetics). It was found that shupa serves the socio-cultural as well as the religious spheres of the Ndau. It was also made clear that the romanticising of IKS can be risky. Using cultural hermeneutics as a complementary theory to the postcolonial paradigm, bota reshupa was found to contain some harmful elements such as kuhaza [ excessive nose and mouth bleeding] which affected Ndau males who consumed shupa (a shortened way of saying bota reshupa). Shupa taboos are very strict and any violations of the taboos may result in death if remedial measures are not expeditiously implemented. The thesis argued that despite the negative effects of kuhaza (which can be (re)defined and (re)negotiated), shupa remained and still remains a resource for the Ndau. The practice also demonstrated the centrality and agency of the Ndau women in matters of their health, identity as well as their culture and situation. It was found that Ndau women were the custodians of shupa. They prepared and administered it, thereby women agency. However, using iv cultural hermeneutics lens, it was found that although Ndau women were the custodians of the practice, the real owners of culture are Ndau males. The need for mainstreaming IKS was also emphasised. The need to research, document and preserve IKS, especially in Zimbabwe, was emphasised throughout the thesis. The study called for more in-depth research on IKS, particularly the scientific research on shupa to determine its pharmaceutical compounds, so that Zimbabweans could holistically benefit from shupa. The thesis also called for the creation of frameworks that would enable adequate funding into research on IKS in general and IKS curricula in particular in Zimbabwe.
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    The Kairos in the Democratic Republic of Congo: a prophetic voice in a context of socio-political instability.
    (2019) Kuvuna, Joel Mbongi.; Le Bruyns, Clint Charles.
    The main objective of this study is to address challenges faced by the Church in most African countries in raising a prophetic voice. It considers a theological reflection of Walter Brueggemann on social justice. The research intends for its findings to be applied in the framework of a Kairos tradition. The study is motivated by the ever-increasing misery of African people and the confused position of the Church on issues of a socio-political nature. It also attempts to clear up misunderstandings of the concept prophet and public perceptions of the relation between Church and politics. The research framework is based on the prophetic theology as reflected in three main themes: The Kairos tradition that, as is argued by this study, should be applied in the DR Congo, the liberation theology of Gustavo Gutierrez and the liberating model of Jesus advocating the plight of oppressed and voiceless people. The methodology used in this research involves a case study of the Protestant Church in the DR Congo and consists in three methods of data collection, namely an analysis of documents, quantitative and qualitative research, and the theological view on social justice of Walter Brueggemann. The participation criteria used in the combined qualitative and quantitative research methods is the simple random sampling to the population of 83 participants (Church leaders), drawn from 95 communities of the ECC (Eglise du Christ au Congo). The questionnaire contained 23 questions divided into three sections. The research findings confirm that individual engagement in socio-political issues by Church members and communities leads to a dispersion of forces resulting in a weak organisation. A lack of effective communication between communities and the national direction of the ECC (Eglise du Christ au Congo) leads to the failure of actions. Together these negative aspects of the Church’s engagement with political affairs in the DR Congo have made its impact negligible. The results of the research clearly indicate the wish of participants that the Church gets seriously involved in socio-political issues as a prophetic voice. However, this position differs across categories of experience. The research reveals the lack of involvement of the National Direction of the Protestant Church in a prophetic way, while respondents are predominantly of the opinion that socio-political involvement is the mission of the Church, whereby the bible is considered as an effective tool to justify the Church’s participation in the political world. Respondents suggest that, in case of a bad socio-political situation, it is wise to raise one’s voice and pray. The x research results leave little doubt of the need for a Kairos tradition in the DR Congo, involving a publicly critical stance of the Church. At the same time the research found that the strongest risk posed by the Church raising its prophetic voice lies in it being exposed to corruption. For the Church’s engagement with the prophetic theology of social justice, Brueggemann’s model focuses on the common good that can be endangered by an imperialist system, by oppressive social policies, and by the complexities of the state monopoly system. Based on the above findings, the research recommends introducing the Kairos tradition in the DR Congo as a space for reflecting on socio-political and economic responsibility. Every single part of the Church shares in the responsibility for the wellbeing of the people. The success of socio-political engagement depends on what each Church member on all levels of the Church contributes by first changing him- or herself and thereafter focusing on improving his or her environment. The Congolese Kairos proposes a seven-step process. These steps are to encourage self-positive change, to develop sermon material on socio-political matter, to organise in the Church a strong system for sociopolitical involvement, to educate people, to organise prayer meetings, work on an advocacy process and participate in peaceful resistance.
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    Political economies of terror? Ancient monarchic Israelite and post-colonial Zimbabwean political economies in dialogue towards an inclusive economic ethics.
    (2019) Taruona, Honoured.; West, Gerald Oakley.
    This work is an attempt at Marxist biblical scholarship. It seeks to add to a growing list of works from African biblical scholars that employ insights from the social sciences, Marxist analytical categories in particular, to shed light on, and better understand the social life of ancient Israel. It uses Marxist analysis to facilitate a dialogue between the political economy of ancient monarchic Israel and that of post-colonial Zimbabwe, with a view to an inclusive economic ethics. A Marxist reading of social life in ancient monarchic Israel reveals a class divided society in which the upper classes seized the institution of the state to further their own class interests. A picture that emerges from that society is of a tiny elite parasitically living off the sweat and toil of the peasants. Physically devastated by corvée labour, impoverished by onerous tribute and taxation, and having lost property and family to debt instruments, the hardworking peasants rue the day their ancestors accepted the tributary state, with its monopoly of the legitimate use of violence and ideo-theologies that support and legitimate the status quo; that support and legitimate the luxury that they see being displayed wantonly by their rulers. Like the sons and daughters of Israel they read about daily in their bibles, without stopping for a moment to reflect on their social life, the peaceful hardworking Zimbabwean masses, decimated by poverty, fear and state-sponsored brutality, yet unable to change their story, unwilling to mobilise and stage a citizen’s revolution, have resigned to fate, hoping that the God of the Hebrews will listen to their cries and avenge their blood, sweat and tears. From the highs of the defeat of white racist supremacy to the lows of recording the second highest rate of inflation in recorded history, from being the second most advanced economy on the continent south of the Sahara, to rank among the poorest on earth, from its citizens being proud white collar employees, to beggars and vendors on the streets of neighbouring countries, yet their rulers and patronage networks unashamedly display their extortionate wealth in broad day light, no one in their wildest imagination would have thought that just two decades into independence, the country would descend into a predatory and brutal police state in which its leaders would join hands with the military to terrorise any form of dissent, torture tens of thousands, murder thousands of their own people who hold a different opinion from theirs, as the country tethered on the brink of becoming a failed state. Regarded as a pariah by the international community, industry having been decimated by hyperinflation and shortage of foreign exchange, the country would be abandoned by more than half of its skilled workforce, but only after the ruling politico-military elite and its patronage networks had looted the state coffers empty. With social services having virtually collapsed, citizens would die of avoidable diseases such as cholera. The picture that emerges from Zimbabwe is of a defeated and confused citizenry, scratching their hands trying, but failing, to get answers to what has led them to be in this sorry state. Although separated by millennia, a Marxist reading of the two political economies shows striking similarities in terms of stratification, primitive accumulation of wealth by the upper classes and their apparent insensitivity to the plight of the masses. A biblically-inspired economic ethics that extols community and advocates an option for those who have fallen on the wrong side of the political economy is what the exploited in both contexts want to hear.
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    A theological reflection on ministerial formation of clergy members of the Methodist church in Zimbabwe in response to traditional Wesleyan teachings on the order of salvation [Ordo Salutis] within a religious environment influenced by prosperity gospel since 2000.
    (2018) Masvotore, Peter.; Sakuba, Xolani Sherlock-Lee.; Hewitt, Roderick Raphael.
    This study explores and investigates how MCZ clergy experience ministerial formation related to Wesleyan teachings on health and wealth themes, interacting with the order of salvation (Ordo Salutis), in the context of prosperity gospel. The study is inspired by an academic, contextual and pastoral concern with ministerial formation of MCZ. Review of scholarly work confirms that attention has not previously been given to the ecclesial context of the MCZ in relation to the topic of this study. The attitude towards religio-cultural practices that are different from those bequeathed to the church by its Euro-centric missionary heritage constitute part of the motivation that triggered this study, as the researcher sought to discover the root cause of resolutions made by the MCZ at Conferences. It is to these research gaps that this study gives its attention. The research problem of this study emerges out of theological reflections that seem to call into question the religio-cultural ways in which the MCZ clergy are formed. Specifically, how do they appropriate Wesleyan teachings on health and wealth motifs in the doctrine of salvation and does it adequately equip them to address the challenges and opportunities posed by prosperity gospel that has taken root and spread within the Zimbabwean society since 2000. This call for an investigation into the question: how has the ministerial formation strategy within MCZ been able to equip the clergy for effective engagement with the challenges posed by the prosperity phenomenon within Zimbabwe? The data for the study was collected using empirical and non-empirical research methods. In addition to written sources, individual interviews with selected MCZ clergy and lay leaders were conducted and observations made. In examining the responses to the research question, the study concludes that teaching on health and wealth as reflected in Wesley‘s Ordo Salutis, at the theological colleges, is inadequate to prepare MCZ clergy to respond to influences of the prosperity gospel. The study also concludes that the health and wealth responses initiated by John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism were neglected in ministerial formation, as a resource that could empower its clergy to respond to challenges and opportunities posed by the prosperity gospel. The following are key terms related to this study: ministerial formation, Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, order of salvation (Ordo Salutis) and the prosperity gospel.
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    Christian identity, Hindu nationalism and religious communal violence in India with special reference to Kandhamal, Odisha (1985–2010).
    (2018) Devadoss, Devairakkam Isaac.; Denis, Philippe Marie Berthe Raoul.
    This thesis seeks to understand why Indian Christian identity became a problem in the secular Republic of India. Western Christianity arrived in India in the very beginning of the sixteenth century. The Hindu fundamentalists began to oppose Christianity vehemently from the beginning of the twentieth century, by establishing various Hindu organisations based on an ideology of Hindutva. After India’s independence in 1947, religious communal violence was on rising, and it divided the people in the name of religion which had a great impact on Indian politics. The communal riots in Kandhamal had a long history. The riots during the years 2007 and 2008 claimed more than 100 lives and displaced 56,000 Christians. It was one of the results of the communal divide on religious grounds in the country. In order to ascertain the factors that caused violence and the depth of the issue, the study engages four theories. There are two dominant ethnic groups living in Kandhamal. The tribal Konds are the aboriginals, and the Dalit Panas are those who migrated to the hills centuries ago and settled among the Konds. The Panas adopted the Konds’ culture, language and customs. The problem began soon after the Europeans entered the Kandhamal hills. In the name of civilisation, the Europeans imposed their values on the inhabitants which forced them to shun their traditional and customary practices. The Konds had opposed the Europeans, while the Panas accepted them and embraced Christianity. Meanwhile, the emergence of Hindu national political party with the ideology of Hindutva changed the political scenario of Indian politics from the 1990s. The Sangh Parivar’s political strategy of using religious sentiments to polarise the majority Hindus led to violence in many parts of the country. Swami Lakshmanananda, a Hindu missionary, became influential with the help of the Sangh Parivar’s political power. He worked for 40 years to convert the tribal Konds into Hindus and turned them against the Christian Panas by projecting all petty local issues as communal concerns. The Kandhamal violence was one of the well-planned attacks against Christians to gain a political mileage by the Sangh Parivar.
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    Gender-based violence: a pastoral quest for masculinity transformation and gender-balanced power relations among the Ovawambo of Namibia.
    (2019) Haufiku, Johannes.; Moyo, Herbert.
    In Ovawambo culture, a man is perceived as the head of the family, family property owner, breadwinner and family protector. He is mandated by culture to have control over the woman and over all the valuable family assets. However, with Namibia’s independence came a new constitution and gender reform laws that redefined gender roles and affected age-old norms and long-held beliefs about masculinity. The law reforms empower women and emancipate them from patriarchal gender injustice thereby commanding equality for men and women in all cultural and social spheres of life. The aim of this study is to identify the driving force behind gender-based violence and its relation to Ovawambo patriarchal gender structure, Namibia’s constitutional reforms in respect to gender roles, as well as male unemployment and power abuse. Employing a qualitative empirical approach based on semi-structured interviews with three focus groups, one-on-one interviews among 40 Ovawambo participants, and participatory observation, the study investigates the experiences of men who are crushed between the old and new gender relationship structures. Findings reveal that there is a growing fear of losing power among Ovawambo men and that imbalance of power in gender relations is at the root of gender-based violence in Ovawambo intimate relationships. The male participants resented the gender equality and family laws which they believe undermine their power and masculine identity. The situation forced them to abuse their power in order to maintain their superiority to women. However, the study shows that gender legislation alone cannot promote peace and human rights in Ovawambo intimate relationships. To address the issue of patriarchy, power abuse, and gender imbalance between men and women, it is helpful to view power from the theological perspective of compassion and vulnerability. Thus, the research endorses the theopaschitic model reframed by the theology of the cross and resurrection according to Luther, Moltmann and Louw. It is argued that theopaschitic theology could help to transform the Ovawambo traditional understanding of masculinity because it emphasizes God’s compassion and pathos. However, transforming men’s attitudes and values alone is not enough. There is a need to transform the self-understanding of both men and women to accommodate gender equity. Thus, this study also adopts a pastoral uukwanankali koinonial (compassion and fellowship) model to influence both Ovawambo uukwanankali social communitarian philosophy that is based on compassion and the understanding of the current gender biased laws to help both men and women to shift from traditional patriarchal, hierarchical competitiveness and injustice to fellowship, compassion and gender justice.
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    Is the Church really silent? Towards a critical exploration of the Church’s contribution or lack thereof on the current discourse for socio-economic transformation in Ghana.
    (2018) Teye-Kau, Eric Kweku.; Sakuba, Xolani Sherlock-Lee.
    The study sets out to assess the extent to which the Church in Ghana is contributing to the ongoing discourse on economic transformation and development (in Ghana and by implication Africa in general). This study is premised on two assumptions, first is that the Church is a significant stakeholder in society and in Ghanaian society in particular. Second, the study is premised on the assumption that the Church is already contributing in this discourse. As such the main focus of this study is not whether the Church is contributing or not. Rather, the main aim is to assess the strength of this assumed contribution. Based on this, this study does not form part of the two schools of thought that may emerge in so far as this subject is concerned, namely those who hold a view that the Church today is silent on current socio-economic issues when it comes to development and transformation discourses and those who also believe that the Church is engaging in current socio-economic discourses that affects the people of God. While the main focus of this study is on the extent of the strength of the Church’s contribution on the ongoing discourse on economic transformation and development in Ghana, it is not within the scope of this study to conduct a thorough and comprehensive ecclesiological account of the understanding of the Church in this context. Instead the study offers a broad overview of the classical understandings of what the Church is as a theologically mandated stakeholder in society. However, it is worth noting that this study is further premised on a view that a true Church, in following in the footsteps of Christ, is always in solidarity with the vulnerable in any society. Also worth noting is that the data collected for this study does not include contributions from the African Pentecostal-Charismatic tradition. It is for this reason therefore that the study employs a combination of both a qualitative and quantitative research methodology and that the theoretical framework upon which it is premised is ‘critical distance’ as articulated by Allan Boesak. Similarly, while the notion of economic development carries some level of significance to this study and therefore worth noting, it is equally not within the scope of this study to offer a comprehensive review of the major economic or developmental theories. Based on this the key question that the study seeks to ask is as follows: How may the strength of the Church’s contribution to the ongoing socio-economic discourse be assessed? The study has found that while the Church in Ghana is indeed contributing to the discourse on socio-economic development, this contribution is nevertheless reactive in nature and therefore not reflective of the Church’s originality in addressing matters of importance in this context. In other words the Church has proved to be merely playing a supportive role as it tends to merely echo popular positions in the public discourse as opposed to coming up with its own innovative suggestions beyond positions that enjoy popular support. The study therefore recommends that further studies be conducted around ways in which the Church can improve its effectiveness in this regard by way of being more proactive and innovative.
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    The portrayal of Christian heroism in the Psychomachia of Prudentius.
    (2017) Flint, Angela Joan.; Hilton, John Laurence.
    This study addresses a neglected area in Late Ancient literary scholarship, namely, the portrayal of Christian heroism in Prudentius’ Psychomachia. The research question advanced in this study investigates whether Prudentius’ didactic, literary portrayal of Christian heroism in the Psychomachia strengthened Christians’ requirement for a socially appropriate modality of heroic identity pertaining to the circumstances of their post-martyrdom context, in the early fifth century. This research has prioritised close reading of the text of the Psychomachia alongside consideration of relevant primary texts and the adoption of an interdisciplinary approach involving the disciplines of theology, classics and anthropology. The most significant conclusion of this study is that Prudentius’ portrayal of early fifth-century Christian heroism in the Psychomachia specifically responded to the socio-religious needs of early fifth-century Christian society regarding heroic identity, because this poet’s portrayal of Christian heroism in this epic poem negated the lingering social power existing in early fifth-century Roman Christianity regarding the heroic function of the body and the soul in a post-martyrdom context. More explicitly, this study finds that through the interiorization of early fifth-century Christian heroism in the Psychomachia, Prudentius sought to counteract enduring social perceptions that the epitome of Christian heroism and the locus of sanctity was embodied in the tortured body of the Christian martyr. This study has demonstrated how Prudentius’ literary expression of the interiorization of Christian heroism in the Psychomachia was influenced by Platonic philosophies as well as prevailing early fifth-century ascetic Christian ideologies regarding the dichotomy between the soul and the body. It is the argument of this dissertation that Prudentius reconceptualised Christian society’s perceptions of the nature of Christian heroism in a post-martyrdom context through his literary communication that early fifth-century Christian heroism was realised through heroically ridding the soul of pagan vice and transforming the Christian’s soul into an interiorized locus of Christian sanctity. Prudentius’ literary vision of heroism in the Psychomachia was orientated towards the future of Christianity, not the past. This dissertation has endeavoured to contribute to contemporary Prudentian scholarship by moving some ways towards explicating Prudentius’ portrayal of heroism in the Psychomachia. It is hoped that this study will encourage emerging Prudentian scholars to seek and explore under-researched areas of this complex and multidimensional Christian epic poem of Late Antiquity.
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    Policing African traditional religion and culture in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.
    (2017) Chigova, Greenwell.; Settler, Federico Guliano.
    This study explores the attitude of the Methodist Church of Zimbabwe (MCZ) towards African traditional religion and culture. It is mostly concerned with how the colonial missionary Methodist Church informs the attitude of the postcolonial Church. The church’s colonial history is framed as the basis of the negative approach of the postcolonial church toward inculturation, and it is argued to account for the lack of appetite for reformation and change in the ecclesiology and theology of the postcolonial Methodist Church. The study identifies and interrogates the theological and ideological reasons for policing and maintaining regimes of surveillance on African traditional religion and culture by both the colonial and postcolonial Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. The study draws on Church documents, such as the Deed of Church Order and Standing Orders, minutes of conferences, organisational and farms policy documents, as well as archival material dealing with the historical relationship between the MCZ and African traditional religion and culture. The archival materials used in this research were found in two locations: the Methodist Church Archive (MCA) and the National Archive of Zimbabwe (NAZ), both of which are in Harare. A postcolonial approach to archival research was used to reveal and expose previously overlooked perspectives on the church, and to highlight the voices of subaltern resistance to church suppression of indigenous religions. The research is guided by two theoretical frameworks, namely, postcolonial theory and Foucauldian analysis of governmentality. The two frameworks were ideal in achieving the objectives of this research. They were used, firstly, to highlight and examine how the colonial Methodist Church impacted or influenced the thinking and attitude of the postcolonial Church regarding the place and relevance of African traditional religion and culture in the Church. Secondly, they were used to investigate and illuminate the tactics, techniques, strategies, and schemes used by the MCZ to govern people’s belief systems and to shut out African traditional religion and culture. Thus, this study argues that Church policies and regimes of discipline were primarily oriented toward excluding African traditional religion and culture, and that current efforts at inculturation and indigenising the Church rely on colonial representations of African traditional religion and culture. Further, a Foucauldian analysis of Church rules and policies reveal the extent to which orientation towards African traditional religion and culture remain unreformed