Going back to my roots : a critical understanding of the interplay between Christian faith and Shona tradition in the quest to find meaning within the HIV pandemic

Tamirepi, Farirai (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-03)

Thesis (MTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During the study there was an attempt to understand the interplay between Christian faith and Shona tradition in the quest for meaning within the HIV and AIDS pandemic. It was revealed that HIV/AIDS has caused unimaginable suffering among all segments of society in Zimbabwe but impacts more on women and children. The suffering caused by HIV and AIDS has inevitably raised the question of meaning which is urgent and widespread, making people turn to the Christian faith or to Shona tradition for answers to their suffering. During the study there was an attempt to find out why Shona Christians revert to Shona traditions in quest for meaning within the HIV and AIDS scourge. It has been revealed that one single answer does not exist and that the quest for meaning as the sum total of answers does not exist. The quest for meaning is about discovering a God-image which is appropriate to give meaning in suffering by being involved and engaged with the existential realities of people within the HIV and AIDS pandemic. It was made clear during the study that the quest for meaning within the HIV and AIDS pandemic has greatly challenged both belief systems to the extent that the Shona Christians, not only revert to tradition in quest for meaning but move back and forth, in and out of both belief systems and remain confused about who God is. The dilemma for the Shona Christians in quest for meaning therefore is a crisis of faith, a personal crisis of identity and a continuous search for meaning. In light of this devastating pandemic, it is an undeniable fact that the quest for meaning among the Shona Christians within the HIV and AIDS pandemic challenges the SDA church to reinterpret and reframe pastoral theology in a way that is relevant to discovering a God who can be trusted to give meaning in suffering.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die studie is daar gepoog om die wisselwerking tussen die Christelike geloof en Shona tradisie te verstaan – veral in die konteks van die soeke na betekenis binne die MIV/VIGS pandemie. Daar is gevind dat MIV/VIGS ongekende lyding veroorsaak in alle sektore van die gemeenskap in Zimbabwe, maar dat die impak daarvan groter is op vroue en kinders. Die lyding wat deur MIV/VIGS veroorsaak word, het onvermydelik vrae laat ontstaan met betrekking tot die vraag na betekenis. Hierdie vrae is dringend en wydversprei en veroorsaak dat mense hulle tot die Christelike verloof of na die Shona tradisies wend vir antwoorde rakende hulle lyding. Daar is gepoog om uit te vind hoekom Shona Christene hulle tot die Shona tradisie wend vir antwoorde op hierdie kwessie. Daar is gevind dat daar nie een enkele antwoord vir hierdie verskynsel bestaan nie, maar dat die soeke na betekenis eintlik 'n soeke na 'n Godsbeeld is wat betekenis sal verleen deur betrokke te wees in die eksistensiële werklikhede van mense binne die MIV/VIGS pandemie. Dit het tydens die studie duidelik geword dat die soeke na betekenis tydens die pandemie beide geloofsisteme tot so 'n mate bevraagteken het, dat Shona Christene hulle nie net tot die Shona tradisies gewend het nie, maar ook heen en weer en in en uit beweeg tussen die sisteme en steeds verward bly oor wie God is. Vir die Shona Christen word die dilemma dus 'n geloofskrisis, 'n persoonlike identiteitskrisis en 'n volgehoue soeke na betekenis. In die lig van hierdie verskriklike pandemie en in die soeke na betekenis tydens die MIV/VIGS pandemie, word die Sewendedagadventistekerk uitgedaag om hulle pastorale teologie op so 'n wyse te herinterpreteer en te herbewoord dat dit relevant is tot die ontdekking van 'n God wat vertrou kan word om betekenis aan lyding te gee.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6511
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