Religion and African Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Healing and Communal Reconstruction in African Communities

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Herbert Moyo


This article is of the view that current research and scholarship in pastoral
theology in Africa is influenced by Western knowledge systems (WKS) and
culture at the expense of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS)
imbedded in African Traditional Religions (ATRs). ATRs are contextually
relevant and can be valuable to pastoral care givers. The author argues that
Christian pastoral care givers can benefit from objective research of AIKS
embedded in ATR and culture as this will unearth African paradigms,
worldviews and the Ubuntu/ botho traditional concepts. The author looks at
current research in ATR being done by Christian theologians, the training of
pastoral caregivers based in western paradigms and the resilience of ATR
and African culture as treasure for social construction and state construction
in Africa. Western knowledge systems are different from African knowledge
systems therefore WKS cannot be pre-packaged as solutions for African
challenges. This article seeks to propose research and teaching in pastoral
theology that can be relevant and effective for African challenges. Instead of
the Christocentric form of inculturation that we currently have, this paper
proposes a dialogical approach that will treat the two religions objectively
through research and teaching.


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Moyo, H. (2013). Religion and African Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Healing and Communal Reconstruction in African Communities. Alternation Journal, (11), 207-236. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Herbert Moyo, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Academic/ Researcher Practical Theology University of KwaZulu-Natal


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