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Title: Protection and healing in a Tswana village : with particular reference to the traditional and Zionist beliefs and practices
Author: Sheppard, Margaret A. K.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3404 0359
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1984
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This study, located in a tribal capital in South-Eastern Botswana, is primarily a comparative descriptive account of the Traditional and Zionist beliefs and practices. The account of the Traditional system shows how religious beliefs and practices, as in other African Religions, are closely interwoven with all spheres of life. Despite widespread acceptance of Christianity from the nineteenth century, many traditional beliefs and practices persist. Zion Churches, despite their name, are Christian. A brief history and the various types are outlined. The study focuses on some churches and an account of their beliefs and practices is given. The results of a small-scale survey among members show the importance of healing and protection (of which prophecy is an integral part) in initially attracting members. Various similarities to traditional religion are noted. Although Southern African, Zion Churches are similar to new religious movements that have developed throughout Africa (and elsewhere) in similar social situations. Therefore, although the study aims to produce primary data on protection and healing rather than develop theory, an attempt is made to set findings within a wider context. It is noted how these Zion Churches, like other new religious movements, provide a continuity with the traditional belief system (where religion and health are closely interlinked) unlike orthodox Christianity. In these Zion Churches, like other new religious movements the basic traditional value system is not questioned, but reinterpreted within a Christian framework. Speculations on the future of these Zion Churches suggest they provide an alternative system utilized by the majority of the community (who are neither Zionists, orthodox Christians, nor traditionalists) according to their empirical observation. Hence Zion religion may usefully be viewed as an important componant of the community's Contemporary Religious Beliefs and Practices for protection and healing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology