African Traditional Religion Encounters Christianity

The Resilience of a Demonized Religion

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John Chitakure
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Pickwick Publications
    , November
     238 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jesse Ndwiga Kanyua Mugambi forthcoming.


Right from the beginning of humankind, God has never deprived a people of his grace and revelation. In fact, God uses people’s environment and culture to communicate his will. There is no single religion that can claim to have the exclusive possession of God’s revelation, for God is too immense to be confined within one faith. Hence, it was erroneous, blasphemous, and misleading for some of the early Christian missionaries to Africa to claim that they had brought God to Africa, a mentality that implied the non-existence of God in Africa before their arrival. Of course, God was already in Africa, but the missionaries either failed to discern his presence or just disregarded the traces of his existence. This book explores the religious beliefs, practices, and values of the indigenous people of Africa at the time of the early missionaries’ arrival, with particular reference to the Shona people of Zimbabwe. It also evaluates the extent of the missionarie’s successes and challenges in converting Africans to Christianity. It finally surveys how African Christians have remained attached to the indigenous religious beliefs that used to provide answers to their existential questions.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

John Chitakure is an Adjunct Professor of World Religions and The Religious Quest at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He has also taught at the Mexican American Catholic College, Oblate school of Theology, both situated in San Antonio, Texas. Before coming to Texas, John taught at several Theological Schools in Zimbabwe that include Chishawasha Seminary, Arrupe College, Wadzanai Training Center, Holy Trinity College, and Zimbabwe Christian College, all in Zimbabwe.



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