A church historical judicial assessment of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe engagement with demon possession and exorcism

Juro, Charles (2016-11-21)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) was constituted in a context where the converts to Christianity believed that the diviners are the only people who have the authority to control the powers that destabilize the normal order. The focal point of this thesis is A Church historical judicial assessment of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe’s engagement with demon possession and exorcism. Chapter two attends to the biblical perspectives regarding demon possession and exorcism. Amongst others the origin of the devil, demon possession and exorcism in the Old Testament, Intertestamental period as well as the New Testament is being addressed in this chapter. Chapter three highlights the African Traditional view on demon possession/spirit possession and exorcism. The chapter identifies causes for the sudden disappearances of the practice of exorcism rites amongst the Shona people belonging to the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe and. focuses therefor on an African view of demon possession, unexpected or involuntary possession, expected or voluntary possession, communal and Shamanism possession, as well as the practice of demon possession in Zimbabwe and the challenges it poses to the Christian believers in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. Chapter 4 deals with the historical background of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. The Dutch Reformed missionaries in Zimbabwe encountered numerous challenges regarding the Shona people’s view on the subject of demon possession/spirit possession and exorcism. The chapter analyses the perspective of the Dutch Reformed Missionaries who evangelized Masvingo province on demon possession/spirit possession and exorcism. The missionaries equated demon possession/spirit possession and exorcism with heathenism. In Chapter 5 attention is given to a church judicial assessment of the church order regulations in place in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe concerning demon possession or exorcism. The influence of the missionaries of the Dutch Reformed Church on the current provisions in the church order of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe should not be underestimated. These church judicial provisions, build in by the missionaries in the church order of the Shona Reformed Church and the later Reformed Church in Zimbabwe, curbs any influence of the Shona culture in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. In Chapter 6 the researcher proposes that the Church Order of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe as well as theological training and ministry of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe should make provision, taking the rich Shona cultural background in to account, for a ministry of exorcism; a liturgy on exorcism as well as theological dialogue in order to address the problem of exorcism in the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe (RCZ) is in 'n konteks waar die bekeerlinge tot die Christendom geglo het dat waarsêers die enigste persone is wat die op die mag het om die magte wat die normale orde destabiliseer te kan beheer, gekonstitueer. Die fokuspunt van hierdie navorsing is 'n kerkhistoriese geregtelike assessering van die betrokkenheid van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe met duiwelbesetenheid en duiweluitdrywing. Hoofstuk twee hanteer die Bybelse perspektiewe met betrekking tot duiwelbesetenheid en duiweluitdrywing. In die Hoofstuk word onder andere aandag verleen aan die oorsprong van die duiwel, demoon besetting en duiweluitdrywing in die Ou Testament, tussen-testamentêre tydperk asook die Nuwe Testament. Hoofstuk drie fokus op die Afrika Tradisionele siening op duiwelbesetenheid / besetting en duiweluitdrywing. Die hoofstuk poog om die oorsake vir die skielike verdwyning van die duiweluitdrywing rituele onder die Shona mense wat deel uitmaak van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe vas te stel. Hierdie hoofstuk fokus op die Afrika-beskouing van duiwelbesetenheid, onverwagte of gedwonge besetting, verwagte of vrywillige besetting, gemeenskaplike besetting en Shamanistiese besetting, asook die praktyk van duiwelbesetenheid in Zimbabwe en die uitdagings wat dit vir die Christen gelowiges in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe inhou. Hoofstuk vier handel oor die historiese agtergrond van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe. Die NG sendelinge in Zimbabwe het talle uitdagings met betrekking tot die beskouinge van die Shona mense rakende duiwelbesetenheid/besetting en duiweluitdrywing ondervind. Die navorsing ontleed die perspektief van die NG sendelinge wat Masvingo-provinsie geëvangeliseer het met betrekking tot op duiwelbesetenheid/besetting en duiweluitdrywing. Die sendelinge het duiwelbesetenheid/besetting en duiweluitdrywing aand die heidendom gelyk gestel. In hoofstuk vyf word aandag verleen aan 'n kerkregtelike assessering van die kerkordelike reëlings met betrekking tot duiwelbesetenheid/besetting of duiweluitdrywing wat in plek is in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe. Die invloed van die sendelinge van die NG Kerk op die huidige bepalings in die kerkorde van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe kan nie onderskat word nie. Die kerkregtelike bepalings, ingebou deur die sendelinge in die kerkorde van die Shona Gereformeerde Kerk en die latere Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe, lê enige invloed wat die Shona kultuur vir die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe kan inhou, aan bande. In hoofstuk ses stel die navorser voor dat in die Kerkorde van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe en in teologiese opleiding en die bedieninge in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe, met inagneming van die ryk Shona kulturele Agtergrond, voorsiening behoort te maak vir die bediening van duiweluitdrywing; 'n liturgie op duiweluitdrywing asook teologiese dialoog ten einde die probleem van duiweluitdrywing te spreek in die Gereformeerde Kerk in Zimbabwe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100113
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