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"Prophets of Doom": the phenomenon of healing and power dynamics in Neo-Pentecostal African churches

dc.contributor.advisorBowers-du Toit, Nadineen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorPondani, Simbarasheen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-14T15:02:34Z
dc.date.accessioned2019-04-17T08:27:38Z
dc.date.available2019-02-14T15:02:34Z
dc.date.available2019-04-17T08:27:38Z
dc.date.issued2019-04
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106082
dc.descriptionThesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: In Southern Africa, there has been a rise of prophets who have resorted to dangerous healing practices such as the snake eating, petrol drinking and the popular ‘Doom spraying’ endangering the lives of congregants who are desperate for a special miraculous touch. Africa has been bombarded by poverty, several epidemics and illiteracy, leaving many lives in despondency and powerlessness. This has led to the abuse of many gullible lives by powerful prophetic figures who have commercialized the gospel for power and profit. This study is motivated by the need to analyze the phenomenon of healing and power dynamics that have dominated the Neo-Pentecostal African churches in Southern Africa, with a special focus on South African upcoming prophetic figures. The study analyses factors that have led to the acceptance and perpetuation of dangerous healing practices by certain Neo-Pentecostal religious leaders on their followers. This study is undertaken from a community development and theological perspective; intersecting gender, health and theology. The study investigates the conceptual understanding of healing and power within the Neo-Pentecostal African churches by examining the historical formation of this strand of Pentecostalism and how the movement got established in South Africa. A multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspect of healing will assist in bringing forth a holistic approach to healing. The healing and power phenomenon within such religious settings poses a threat to many who congregate within such churches, especially women and young children who are mostly, the majority in attendance. This places the healing and power phenomenon at play within the Developmental and Gender discourses, intersecting with other factors that lead to the perpetuation of poverty and health challenges. The spraying of ‘Doom’ insecticide on congregants as a healing practice by a Limpopian prophet raises concerns leading to an investigation of the implications and social economic challenges at play within such settings. Historically, the Classical Pentecostal healing tradition has been founded upon the general understanding of the Christian practice of laying on of hands when praying for the sick. Although there have been instances where symbolic and alternative healing methods became popular in the movement, the general practice of laying on of hands on the sick has been a standard tradition within the Pentecostal liturgy. Thus, making a theological contrast between the Classical Pentecostal views on healing and the Neo-Pentecostal understanding of healing and power has brought forth disparities as to how healing is conducted and gets accentuated religiously within African communities. Also, the gendered intersection with regard to power, sees women and children being mostly vulnerable to such healing practices making this study a gendered issue. This intersection suggests that the Neo-Pentecostal African churches healing practices are dangerous due to various socio-economic challenges leading to the perpetuation of poverty. This study recommends and seeks to acknowledge the urgent need for a discerning community. Findings within community development have noted that an impoverished society bears characteristics of vulnerability, disempowerment and high levels of gullibility. This study highlights the pressing need for religious communities, governments and organizations to stand guard against abusive healing and power tendencies.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In Suider-Afrika is daar 'n opkoms van profete wat begin gebruik maak het gevaarlike genesingspraktyke, soos die eet van ‘n slang, die drink van petrol en die gewilde 'doom spuit' wat die lewens van gemeentes wat desperaat is vir 'n spesiale wonderwerk, in gevaar stel. Afrika word bombardeer deur armoede, verskeie epidemies en ongeletterdheid, wat baie lewens in wanhoop en magteloosheid laat. Dit het gelei tot die misbruik van baie liggelowige lewens deur kragtige profetiese figure wat die evangelie vir mag en wins gekommersialiseer het. Die motivering van hierdie studie is die behoefte om die verskynsel van genesing en kragdinamika wat die Neo- Pinksterkerkte in Suider-Afrika oorheers het, te analiseer, met spesiale fokus op Suid-Afrikaanse opkomende profetiese figure. Die studie beoog dus om faktore te analiseer wat gelei het tot die aanvaarding en voortbestaan van gevaarlike genesingspraktyke deur sekere neo-pinkster godsdienstige leiers op hul volgelinge. Hierdie studie ondersoek ook die konseptuele begrip van genesing en mag binne die Neo- Pinksterkerke, met ‘n kyk na die historiese vorming van hierdie strand van Pinksterisme en hoe die beweging in Suid-Afrika gevestig is. 'N multidissiplinêre benadering wat die fisiese, emosionele, psigologiese en geestelike aspek van genesing insluit, sal help om 'n holistiese benadering tot genesing te bring. Die genesende en kragverskynsel binne sulke godsdienstige instellings vorm 'n bedreiging vir baie lewens wat in sulke kerke vergader, veral vroue en jong kinders wat hoogstens die meerderheid bywoon. Dit staar die genesings- en kragverskynsel binne die Ontwikkelings- en Geslagsdiskoers in die gesig, met dit kruis dit met ander faktore wat lei tot die voortbestaan van armoede en gesondheidsuitdagings. In hierdie studie het die Limpopiese profeet wat doom-insekdoder op gemeentes as 'n genesingspraktyk gespuit het, klem op die ondersoek geplaas om te kyk na die implikasies en sosiale ekonomiese uitdagings wat op die spel is. Histories is die Klassieke Pinkster-genesingstradisie gegrond op die algemene begrip van die Christelike praktyk om hande op te lê wanneer hulle vir die siekes bid. Alhoewel daar gevalle was waarby simboliese en alternatiewe genesingsmetodes gebruik was, is die algemene praktyk om hande op die siekes te lê, 'n standaard tradisie binne die Pinkster-liturgie. Dus, om 'n teologiese kontras tussen die klassieke Pinkster-sienings oor genesing en die Neo-Pinkster-begrip van genesing en krag te maak, het ongelykhede ontstaan oor hoe genesing gedoen word en word godsdienstig in Afrika-gemeenskappe beklemtoon. Ook, die geslags-kruising met betrekking tot mag, is vroue en kinders meestal kwesbaar vir sulke genesingspraktyke wat hierdie studie 'n gender-kwessie maak. Dus, dui dit daarop dat die Neo-Pinkster-genesingspraktyke gevaarlik is as gevolg van verskeie sosio-ekonomiese uitdagings wat lei tot die voortbestaan van armoede. Hierdie studie beveel dus aan en poog om klem op die behoefte te plaas aan 'n kritiese gemeenskap. Bevindinge binne gemeenskapsontwikkeling het opgemerk dat 'n arm gemeenskap 'n eienskap van kwesbaarheid, ontwapening en hoë vlakke van liggame het. Daarom poog hierdie studie om die dringende behoefte aan godsdienstige gemeenskappe, regerings en organisasies te wys; en om klem te plaas op die feit dat daar waaksaam gewees moet word teen beledigende genesing en krag tendense.af_ZA
dc.format.extentxv, 121 pages : illustrations, map
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch Universityen_ZA
dc.subjectPowers (Christian theology)en_ZA
dc.subjectSpiritual healingen_ZA
dc.subjectPentecostal churches -- South Africaen_ZA
dc.subjectUCTDen_ZA
dc.title"Prophets of Doom": the phenomenon of healing and power dynamics in Neo-Pentecostal African churchesen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA


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