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Conversion and revival : a critical analysis of the revival movement among Lutheran Christians in the North Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

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The topic of this dissertation is to show the meaning and the importance of conversion to the Lutheran Christians including Abalokole in the North Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. It critically investigates how the Abalokole and other Lutheran Christians in the area under study understand and practice conversion and revival in their Christian lives. The descriptions and analysis in this research have the importance of challenging Christians about their understanding of conversion and revival. The aim of all this will be to understand conversion as a type of Christian transformation and thus to develop new pastoral understanding of how to assist people in their process of transformation. It is important to understand how and why transformation takes place in the lives of men and women in a Christian context. In understanding conversion in depth, new insight is gained into the process of evangelism and the dynamics of Christian formation. Furthermore, by its very nature, conversion provides a rich topic for investigating the connection between understanding a phenomenon and applying that understanding to the practice of ministry. From this understanding, more educative methods will be needed among Lutheran Christians so that they will not need to be confused when they meet with doctrines of other Christian faiths. This thesis has the following chapters: Chapter One: This chapter deals with the introduction of the study. It introduces: the statement of the problem, the aim of the study, research hypothesis, research questions, scope and limitations, problems encountered during the research and clarification of the basic terminologies used in this study. Chapter two describes research methodology used to obtain data. It seeks to describe and validate the applied method. Inductive methodology has been utilized by beginning with people and their experiences and expertise. Therefore only those trusted key informants who could provide the required information were interviewed. Chapter Three explains the historical background of the advent of Lutheran Christianity and the impact of the Revival Movement or Balokole movement in the North Western Diocese (NWD) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). This background information is necessary for the reader to grasp how people in the area became Christians and how they are experiencing conversion and revival today. Chapter Four: This chapter is all about data analysis and presentation of the findings. It focuses on what Christians are experiencing and saying about conversion and revival. It seeks to analyse the data reflected from these case studies and interviews. Chapter Five investigates the consequences of the Revival Movement in the North Western Diocese. It shows the strengths and weaknesses of the movement. It argues that in order to be a good disciple of Jesus Christ, one needs to be faithful, to repent and therefore to receive forgiveness from God. Chapter Six: This chapter shows some of the challenges facing the church as an institution. It focuses on the new vision and a way forward by introducing practical implementations on the topic under research. It moves into focusing on what has to be done by the Church. Chapter Seven: This chapter summarises the findings of the research. It deals with summary, conclusions and recommendations. It concludes by suggesting some of the work to be done by the Church (NWD) and some suggestions for further research. This thesis concludes with appendices: names of interviewees, Dioceses of ELCT, interview questions, transcriptions as well as a full bibliography.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2005.


Evangelical Lutheran Church--Tanzania., Lutheran Church--Tanzania., Christianity--Tanzania., Theses--Theology., Evangelistic work--Tanzania., Evangelical revival--Tanzania.